I recently asked my husband, what dessert he would like for his sweet treat for his lunches? I enjoy packing his work lunches. I always like to include a few proteins, whole grains, veggies, fruit, salty snack, and sweet goodie.
Also, I love packing lunches for my husband and I because brown bagging is a resourceful way to use leftovers. Packing a lunch daily can really help save money & reduce waste. So many people dine out or order in for meals for lunch breaks. This habit can be easily $10-20 a day downtown in a city; not to mention high in unnecessary & unwanted calories.
His response to my question for his sweet treat was brownies. I asked what kind and he mentioned a traditional style (last week I had made Blondies). I couldn’t bare making Plain Jane Brownies; therefore, I spiced them up a tad. This led me to the mix up of a beautiful marriage salted caramel,peanuts, and chocolate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Foil line a glass 9 by 13 baking pan and spray generously with canola oil cooking spray
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
4 oz of extra dark chocolate (63% cacao), plus more for drizzle 1-2 tablespoon melted
4 Tablespoons of natural peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 scant cup of dry roasted unsalted peanuts
1 1/2 cups of pretzels (wheel or mini pretzel shape)
6 ounce jar of sea salt caramel sauce or homemade prepared caramel sauce, plus 1-2 tablespoon for final drizzle
A few pinches of Sea Salt for final sprinkle (optional)
This recipe yields 16 large brownies or 32 mini
- Take over a double broiler and melt the chocolate, coconut oil, and peanut butter. Once the mixture is melted add in the applesauce, & sugar. Remove the double broiler and add in the eggs one at a time with a whisk and lastly add in the vanilla. Set aside.
- In the meantime, whisk together the flour, kosher salt, and baking powder. Add the liquid chocolate mixture to the flour. Mix until combined.
- Pour 1/3 of the batter on the bottom of the prepared 9 by 13 pan. Layer the pretzels evenly on top of the batter (it is roughly 47 pretzel wheels), than sprinkle with the peanuts. Drizzle with half of caramel sauce. Place the remaining 2/3 of batter on top of the nut, caramel, pretzel layer. I find using a plastic spatula sprayed with cooking spray makes for easier spreading.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 33 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the brownies clean. Place the brownies on a wire rack to cool. Allow the brownies to completely cool before removing from the pan.
- Using the foil sides, lift the brownies from pan and place on parchment paper.
- On a diagonal drizzle with caramel and chocolate. Lastly sprinkle with sea salt. Store in a sealable container. Cut to your desired serving size.
- Make sure to store in an airtight container