Brownie recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen (http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/best-cocoa-brownies/)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan (I used an11 x 7 x 2 inch Rectangular Pan, which worked, but the brownies are a touch thin) with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
In a large heat-proof bowl, add the butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Place the bowl over a barely simmering pot of water on the stove (the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the boiling water so try to use a smaller pot + bigger bowl combo). Let the butter melt and stir the cocoa and sugar into it slowly. Once everything is melted, remove from the heat and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon. It’ll still be quite gritty at this point. Let it cool until just warm (not hot - don’t want to cook the eggs!)
(make the topping)
Add the vanilla and salt and one egg. Mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add the second egg and mix well.
Add the flour to the bowl and stir until no flour-pockets can be seen. Beat with a wooden spoon/spatula for another minute to get everything really smooth and uniform.
Pour batter into prepared pan and top with salty mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean.
Let cool completely before cutting into 2” squares.
While you’re waiting for the cocoa mixture to cool, toss the pretzels and peanuts into a plastic bag and smash with a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Leave some larger pieces of pretzel as they give a nice texture to the finished product. Pour into a medium sized bowl and add the peanut butter. Stir slowly until everything has a light coating of peanut butter.