Caramel Filled Brownies

6:07 AM

My kids had a fall carnival at their school today, and using it as an excuse to experiment on another recipe, I volunteered for the bake sale. I seem to lean towards brownies as group foods as it serves well individually, is easily wrapped up, and I find billions of interesting variations that are so much fun to make and eat. Plus brownies are one of my favorite desserts, if you haven't noticed how often I seem to make them!


Anyways, I found the recipe for these brownies at another great cooking blog I check in on all the time - Cookie Madness. These were a bit time consuming to make, but not all that bad, you just have to make this in increments to allow for cooling and all that jazz. I made these last night
and allowed them to chill overnight since the recipe suggests that its easier to cut that way. I made these little buggers, wrapped up all but three, one for each of us to have at home at another time, and then walked to the kids' school to drop them off. Once I got back home, however, I noticed something was wrong. The garbage can was knocked down, trash was spewed all over the place, and the box of Popeye's that had my leftover lunch in it was strewn all across the floor, minus the chicken bones. Zeus.....my Great Dane! He hardly ever, ever does this, so he got scolded then I cleaned up the mess. Thats when I noticed it. The cutting board that had my brownies, my brownies, was toppled over into the sink, with not a crumb on it!! I was livid to say the least! My dog eating food directly off my counter....my dog eating chocolate...my precious, precious brownies that I didn't even taste! Or take a picture of! I'm ok now. I think. Only because I ended up buying back a brownie for each of us at the festival.

That was my ordeal with the brownies, in case you were wondering why I didn't do the proper blogging thing and take a picture. The good news, however, is that the brownies were fantastic! They were very, very fudgy and the caramel was ooey-gooey and messy and so good! The president of the PTO found me later on during the carnival asking if the brownies were mine (she remembered me bringing in some type of brownies) and she said her husband almost got into a fight with another person who came back for more - only to buy the rest of them up! I got a kick out of that, and I'm glad that others got to experience this wonderful creation I found on Cookie Madness and help support the school. I'll have to make these again when the hubs comes back since his work buddies seem to like my brownies too. And then I'll have to make it again every first and third Thursday, and every Saturday, and everyday that ends in an even number....

Caramel Filled Brownies
Yields 24

1 cup whole pecans
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14 oz.) bag caramels (I buy 3 bags of Werther's chewy caramels, they are sooo good!)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or more if you like)

1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Place pecans on a cookie sheet and toast for 7-9 minutes or until aromatic. Let cool. When cool, chop.

2. Meanwhile, line a 13×9 inch pan with Release foil or parchment paper. You could also just line with foil and spray the foil. Make sure to spray the sides so the caramel won’t stick to the sides.

3. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and repeat until smooth. Let cool for about 5 minutes. While chocolate cools, in a separate bowl beat sugar and eggs on high speed of an electric mixer for 3 entire minutes. Beat in vanilla. Stir chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Using a mixing spoon or wire whisk, stir in flour and salt. Pour about half of this batter into the lined pan and bake for 20 minutes.

4. Cool for 20 minutes. While first layer cools, prepare filling. Unwrap caramels (ack! Why don’t they make unwrapped caramels!) and put them in a saucepan with the 1/3 cup of cream. Heat on medium low, stirring often, until caramels are melted. Stir about half of the chopped pecans into the caramel. Pour the caramel mixture over the brownie layer.

5. Spread the remaining brownie mix over the caramel filling. It is kind of tricky, so do your best, but don’t worry about covering all the caramel. Scatter chocolate chips and remaining pecans over the top.

6. Bake at 350˚ for another 20 minutes or until the top batter appears set but not dry. Allow brownies to cool completely (this should take a few hours). I like to cool them and then chill them because it makes slicing easier.

7. Lift brownies from pan and place on a big cutting board. Slice into whatever size you feel like.

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