Friday, August 3, 2012

Gooey Caramel Brownies

These brownies are packed full of gooey caramel with chopped pecans and topped with chocolate chips. Honestly, what's not to love? This sweet treat will hit the spot every time.

Recipe yields 20-24 brownies

2 sticks unsalted butter
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli's and it was delicious)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
14 oz. caramel candies
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heatproof bowl, melt butter and bittersweet chocolate. Whisk well to combine while melting. You can use a double-broiler or melt in the microwave. Heat at 30 second intervals if melting in the microwave.

Add sugar, eggs and vanilla extract to the butter and chocolate mixture. Stir well to combine. Add flour and salt and stir until flour is just incorporated and you can no longer see any white. Do not over mix! Line your baking pan with tin foil and coat foil with non-stick cooking spray. Helpful Hint: Make sure every inch of the foil is coated with the cooking spray, the caramel becomes VERY sticky and it will be difficult to separate from the foil if it is not covered in the cooking spray.

Add half of the batter to the pan and place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-20 minutes. (Keep the oven on at 350 degrees while the brownie is cooling).

While the brownie is cooking/cooling, add caramel candies and heavy cream to a small pot. Cook on medium high heat until the candies have melted and the sauce is smooth. You do not want any chunks of candy remaining in your caramel sauce.

After the brownie has cooled, pour the caramel sauce on top to create a complete layer. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the caramel layer.

Pour the second half of the brownie batter on top of the caramel and pecan layer. Take caution when pouring the batter because it will be difficult to spread out after it sticks to the caramel. It is helpful to drop spoonfuls of batter in different areas to create an even layer. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the final brownie layer.

Return pan to the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes. Test brownie with a toothpick or thin knife to ensure it is cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 hour in a cool environment. The longer you let it cool, the easier it will be to cut.

Slice into squares and serve with a large glass of milk. Enjoy!

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