Caramel brownies. Everyone needs a recipe in their arsenal and let me tell you, these are possibly some of the most luscious, decadent brownies I have ever eaten. A brownie base cooks alone and is then smothered with creamy caramel and another layer of brownie batter and chocolate chips (and nuts, too, if you love ’em!). Those layers bake together to create a dense, rich brownie infused with chewy, gooey caramel.
I preferred these brownies slightly chilled. The pictures I snapped were while the brownies were warm (hence the melty goodness of the chocolate) but after cooling and an hour or so chilling in the fridge, the caramel layer was even more pronounced. And very, very deadly in it’s addictiveness. You probably don’t want to be making a habit of baking these decadent brownies every day but when you want a show-stopper of a brownie, this is the one. Plus, I like knowing that I have finally purged the secret of these other-worldly brownies from my soul so you can join me in my inhalation of caramel brownies. I’m becoming quite an expert on the matter, which may or may not be something to publicly brag about.
Note: I found that an hour or so of chilling the brownies after they had cooled completely helped the caramel layer set up and become more pronounced.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1½ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 14 ounces caramel candies, unwrapped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350? F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil well with butter or cooking spray. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave in intervals of 1 minute at 50% power until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, stirring in between intervals. Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla until incorporated. Stir in the flour and salt just until combined. Spread about half of the brownie batter in the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on!) and let the brownies cool for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the chopped pecans (if using) to a medium skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside. To make the caramel filling, combine the caramels and cream in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir. Repeat the process, keeping a close eye on the mixture as it can burn very easily (make sure you use low heat in the microwave). Continue the microwave process until the caramels and cream are melted and combined. Stir in half of the pecans to the caramel mixture. Immediately spread the caramel mixture over the bottom brownie layer. Scoop the remaining brownie batter in spoonfuls over the caramel layer and spread it evenly across the caramel layer (spooning the batter in piles over the caramel will help to get an even layer of batter over the caramel). Sprinkle the chocolate chips and the remaining pecans on top of the final brownie layer. Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. I found the brownies sliced easier once they had been cooled and refrigerated for an hour or two.
- Lift the brownies from the pan using the edges of the foil. Remove the foil and cut the brownies into individual squares. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats via The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather