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Flavor | Salted Caramel Brownies

February 14, 2013

I’m not a caramel person.

I never really have been. Honestly, when that junk gets stuck in my teeth for hours I get a bit restless and annoyed. So I opt not to eat it most of the time. But when Deb posted this recipe on Wednesday and I had time to kill in the evening before Nashville started, I thought why not? Josh likes caramel (to be clear, I had to ask him that first because I had no idea). So I was all in. I didn’t even have to go to the store because I had everything at home. And, she is infamous for creating one bowl dishes for those weeknights when you don’t want to wash every dish.

I very carefully made the caramel, being very precise about every measurement. I’d never ventured into this sector before so I was very nervous as I browned the sugar and gently melted in the butter. I sprinkled in the sea salt and brought the cream up to a boil again, waiting patiently for the sugar to melt through everything. The process had already created what felt like perfect caramel, but once again, I am no expert. I placed the mixture on parchment paper and slipped it into my freezer… and waited. Anxious, fixated on the freezer, I began to boil some water to melt some chocolate because clearly I would never make just caramel with no chocolate.

(And really, this is one of the easiest and best brownie mixes I have every thrown together. Easier than a box.)

After the butter and chocolate melted, I added the sugar, the eggs (always one at a time but I’m not positive why — can someone explain that to me?), the vanilla and the flour, mixing thoroughly along the way. And then it was time to add the bits of caramel. I took the chunk out fo the freezer and stared at it. Was it going to be good? I had no clue! I began chopping it but found it difficult to slice instantly recognizing that it was not creamy enough. But I was going to bake it and melt it and perhaps it would be ok. I added most of the chunks to the brownie mix but left a few out to sprinkle across the top. I baked the dish, made some cute heart cut-outs and placed them on a new dish just for Valentine’s Day.

I loved the chocolate brownie — oh so wonderful. But the caramel I could have done without. I told you, I’m not a caramel person. But most people are so please try these…

Caramel Homemade

Creamy Brownie Mix

Caramel

Hearts

Salted Caramel Brownies

 

Salted Caramel Brownie’s
Original Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Caramel
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or salted, but then ease up on the sea salt)
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt (or 1/8 teaspoon table salt, more to taste)
3 tablespoons heavy cream — I feel I should have added more for creamier caramel, mine was a bit to hard for my liking.

Brownie
3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/8 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour

Make caramel: Set a square of parchment paper over a medium-sized plate. Lightly butter or coat the parchment with a spray oil, just as an added security measure.

In a medium, dry saucepan over medium-high heat, melt your sugar; this will take about 5 minutes, stirring if necessary to break up large chunks. By the time it is all melted, if should be a nice copper color; if not, cook until it is. Remove from heat and stir in butter. It may not incorporate entirely but do your best. Stir in cream and salt and return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat, bringing it back to a simmer and melted again any sugar that solidified. Cook bubbling caramel for a few minutes more, until it is a shade darker.

Pour out onto parchment-covered plate and transfer plate to your freezer. Freeze until solidified, which can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes in a decent freezer to 40 minutes in my terrible one.

Meanwhile, or when your caramel is almost firm, make your brownies: Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment, extending it up two sides. Butter the parchment or spray it with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together until only a couple unmelted bits remain. Off the heat, stir until smooth and fully melted. You can also do this in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula.

Assemble brownies: When caramel is firm, remove it from the freezer and chop it into rough 1-inch squares. Gently fold all but a small amount of caramel bits into batter. Scrape batter into prepared pan, spreading until mostly even. Scatter remaining caramel bits on top. Bake in heated oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool thoroughly — a process that can be hastened in the freezer, which will also produce cleaner cuts — and cut into squares or other desired shapes.

Happy Valentine’s Day loves!

Salted Caramel Brownies

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2013 12:46 am

    absolutely love the dish!

  2. February 17, 2013 2:56 pm

    i’m planning on making these tomorrow! so excited 🙂

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