Monday, December 5, 2016

Caramel Brownies

Hello out there!  I'm back again to post a couple of recipes and then I'll probably disappear for a few months again.  That's about all I seem to have time for!  We are enjoying the holiday season as I'm sure you are too.  We recently invited some friends over for dinner.  I don't know why it is, but I always want to experiment with recipes when I have company over.  It's insane.  You'd think I would want to stay with something tried and true to spare my sanity and stress level.  While I did stay safe with a tried and true lasagna for dinner, I did experiment with dessert. I took a twist on the best brownie recipe I have (already on my site) and added caramel.  I couldn't stop 'sampling' the brownies!  (I had to make sure they were going to taste all right for my guests!)  Chocolate + Caramel = decadence.  These do take a little planning.  They are a bit of a labor of love, but worth it.  Hope you enjoy!

Caramel Brownies
From Egg Free  Bakery

1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1 cup water 
1/2 cup butter 
1/4 cup shortening or vegetable oil 
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 1/2 cup white sugar 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag kraft caramel bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with aluminum foil, leaving edges of foil hanging slightly over the edges (so you can lift the brownies out of the pan later).  Spray foil with cooking spray, being sure to get the sides too.  This will help immensely so the caramel doesn't stick and you end up cursing because you can't get your brownies out.

In a saucepan combine the 1/3 cup of flour and water. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick. (When you stir it, you should see the bottom of the pan.  It will have the consistency of pudding.) Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool. 
In a small saucepan, melt butter. When butter has melted, add the shortening (or oil) and stir to let the shortening melt too. (This can also be done in the microwave) Add the cocoa powder; mix until smooth and set aside to cool. 
Beat the sugars and vanilla into the cooled flour mixture, mixing well. Stir in the cocoa mixture until well blended. 
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the batter until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips. 
Spread 2/3 of brownie batter into prepared baking pan and bake 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl (or in a saucepan) combine sweetened condensed milk and caramels.  Heat and stir until caramel bits are melted and mixture is combined.
Pour caramel sauce over partially baked brownies and spread to cover evenly.  Drop remaining brownie batter by spoonfuls onto caramel layer.  With a knife, carefully swirl top layer of brownie with caramel.  Return to the oven and bake additional 30-40 minutes. It should look "done" and not be "jiggly". Remove from oven and cool completely. Lift the brownies out of the pan by grasping the aluminum foil edges.  Carefully flip the brownie over to a cutting board. Peel off the aluminum foil and cut the brownie into bars. Yield: about 15 good sized brownies

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