Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Caramel Brownies

I know I've been AWOL/MIA recently. The truth is, this week's been kinda crazy.
I had my first job interview this morning. *screams*
I've had interviews for internships, and one when I sold Cutco (yes, I did the "knife thing," and I did quite well). But this was my first "real" job interview. My mom is an incredible businesswoman, so we spent an hour last night preparing. I was pretty nervous. Sugar always helps me, even if it makes me a little jittery. Focusing on sugar instead of anxiety is wayyyy better in my book :)
Chris loves caramel, so when I saw these on Annie's Eats, I knew I had to make them. They're delicious by themselves, even better with milk, and out of this world incredible with ice cream.
I've been a bit discouraged by previous attempts to make caramel, so I bought some caramel sauce from Whole Foods over the summer, and I used that instead. I'm posting Annie's recipe for her caramel sauce, in case you don't have access to a Whole Foods, or in case you want to DIY :)

Caramel Brownies
Courtesy of Annie's Eats
Yield: One 9x13 pan of brownies
Note: this is not a quick recipe, it takes at least an hour to do it right.
Unsalted butter- 1 c (2 sticks)
Bittersweet chocolate- 12 oz, coarsely chopped
Sugar- 1 1/2 c
Eggs- 4, large
Vanilla extract- 1 tbsp
All-purpose flour- 1 1/4 c
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Pecans- 1 1/2 c, coarsely chopped (optional)
Semisweet chocolate chips- 1 c
(Caramel filling)
Caramel candies- 14 oz, unwrapped
Heavy cream- 1/3 c
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if it takes forever to heat up). Line 9x13" baking pan with foil and grease foil well with butter or cooking spray.
2. Combine butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until it's completely melted and smooth. (You could also microwave it, but I don't like risking it with chocolate.)
3. Remove the bowl from the heat, and whisk in sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Whisk in flour and salt until just combined.
4. Spread half of the brownie batter inn the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool for 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, if using chopped pecans, add them to a medium skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light brown. Remove from heat and set aside. 
6. Make the caramel filling. Combine caramels and cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, and stir until smooth. Stir in half of the pecans, and spread immediately over the bottom brownie layer. 
7. Pour the remaining brownie batter on top (make sure you do it as evenly as possible, or spreading it will be a nightmare), and sprinkle chocolate chips and remaining pecans on top. Bake for 20 minutes, then let cool for at least half an hour. Slice and serve. They also taste amazing refrigerated!

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