Sunday, March 9, 2014

Salted Caramel Brownies

One thing that I love to do for people on their birthdays is bake them something, because duh, calories don't count when it's your birthday so it's the perfect day for indulgence.  I usually let the person pick whatever dessert they want and then I try my darndest whether I've made it before or not.  It usually comes with a disclaimer if I'm trying out a new recipe.
Like last year my brother-in-law requested a marble cake.  Having never made a marble cake before I found what I assumed would be a reliable recipe since it was from Food & Wine and got a lot of really good reviews.  I don't know what I did wrong though because what I created was a dense, dry cake that I'm pretty sure half of it got thrown away.
Last week was one of my co-worker's birthdays and her request was for salted caramel brownies, a new but really scrumptious sounding dessert.  I gave the usual disclaimer and decided that I wanted to do it right, which meant making my own caramel.  I've heard horror stories about making caramel, so obviously I was basically expecting a disaster before it even began.
I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and decided to go with it, it was the one.  She made making caramel look so easy (who would've thunk?)  The caramel making nightmares started to go away.  My palms got less sweaty at the thought of it.  I was honestly still a little skeptical though.  But when push came to shove, it actually ended up being pretty simple.  The hardest part actually ended up being cutting the caramel into pieces since it's on the harder rather than chewy side so that it melts better with the batter.
The brownies ended up getting rave reviews at work and I'm sure that I will be making them many more times.  Now that I've successfully made caramel for the first time, dare I say that caramel candies will be next?  Or maybe some of April's caramel corn?  I guess I better add a candy thermometer to my kitchen wish list.



  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Generous 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Generous 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour

  1. Put a piece of parchment paper over a medium size plate.  Coat it with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. Using a medium, dry sauce pan, melt sugar over medium-high heat.  Should take approximately 5 minutes.  It is done when it turns a copper color.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter.  Then stir in the cream and salt.
  4. Return pan to medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.  Let it bubble for a few minutes until it turns a shade darker.
  5. Pour onto parchment paper and place it in the freezer to harden, around 30 minutes or so.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray or grease with butter.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter together in a bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between.
  3. Whisk in sugar, then one egg at a time, then vanilla and salt.  Stir in flour.
  4. Cut hardened caramel into 1 inch squares.  Set aside a small amount of caramel squares and fold the rest into the batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the parchment paper lined pan.  Sprinkle the remaining caramel pieces on top.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in freezer.
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

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