When I visited my friends in Cleveland and was planning the menu I’d make for the evening, I knew a dessert had to be on the list.
I asked Sarah what she’d like, hoping for something fruity or fresh for summer…but Sarah was very specific: brownies :) Her dad was visiting also and she said that brownies are one of his favorite desserts.
However, being me, I couldn’t bear to make plain brownies. I’d been eyeing a lot of recipes on the web lately, and stumbled upon one for a Sweet and Salty Brownie from Brown-Eyed Baker.
I dunno if you’ve heard, but salted caramel is all the rage these days. From chocolate bars to desserts, people can’t seem to get enough. And while I don’t typically like to follow trends, I figured just this one time wouldn’t hurt anyone.
I don’t really know by looking at a recipe if a brownie will be the consistency I like. For this purpose, I rely on the photos. And Brown-Eyed Baker had lovely photos indeed. Fudgy, rich, amazing.
I didn’t feel like going all out and making a homemade caramel (although I know that would have been even tastier), so I went the semi-homemade route by buying caramel ice cream topping as a substitute. I was hoping for one of those gourmet brands that’s super thick, but all the supermarket had was the syrupy Smuckers brand. So that’s what I used.
The result was very gooey, and very delicious. We ate these warm in a bowl, topped with vanilla ice cream. Now if you’re looking for brownies that are portable and able to be eaten with your hands, this isn’t the recipe for you. But if you have access to a bowl and spoon, dig in!
Salted Caramel Brownies
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Makes 24 large brownies
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 small jar caramel topping (about 1 cup)
For the Topping:
1½ teaspoons fleur de sel
1 teaspoon coarse sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9×13-inch pan. Butter/spray the pan well.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
4. Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler, and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.
5. Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage, or your brownies will be cakey.
6. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there is just a trace amount of the flour mixture still visible.
7. Assemble the brownies: Pour half of the brownie mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Drizzle about ¾ cup-1 cup of the caramel sauce over the brownie layer in a zigzag pattern, making sure the caramel doesn’t come in contact with the edges oft he pan or it will burn. Use an offset spatula to spread the caramel evenly across the brownie layer, leaving about a ½-inch border around the edges. In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the rest of the brownie batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownie batter gently to cover the caramel layer.
7. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
9. Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with the fleur de sel and coarse sugar.
10. Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.
11. The brownies can be stored, tight wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream!