When I look back at Memorial Day Weekend 2011, I’m pretty sure the highlight will be these brownies. And maybe 4 hours of a Jersey Shore marathon on Monday (I can’t believe Sweetheart Sammie and Ronnie broke up!!).
Anyway, this is actually the second time I’ve made these brownies, but the first time they were eaten in less than an hour. Thus, no time for picture snapping. It’s no secret that I love anything caramel, chocolate or salty, so why wouldn’t this be the ultimate dessert for me? I made them on Saturday evening for our dinner guests, and they were readily inhaled even though we were all full. Good sign.
But that wasn’t the end of these brownies for me. I ate them once or twice a day for the rest of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, finally finishing off the batch yesterday. Extending my weekend, per se.
I searched through TONS of recipes to find the perfect one for me, and I finally landed on this one from the browneyedbaker.
Salted Caramel Brownies
5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped from a bar if you’re fancy like that)
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (or unsweetened chocolate, chopped)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
Fine sea salt
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Melt the chocolates & butter in the microwave on 50% power for 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Whisk in the cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture; then stir in the flour until just combined. Pour about half of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and spread into the corners. Spoon 9 dollops of Salted Caramel Sauce on top of the brownie batter. Top with the remaining brownie mixture, spread into the corners and level the surface with a spatula. Again, spoon 9 dollops of the Salted Caramel Sauce on top of the brownie batter. With a dull butter knife, gently run it through the batter to swirl the batter just a bit (don’t do it too much or it will all mix together). Sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top.
Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cut into squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking as the sugar begins to melt. Some of the sugar will harden into clumps, but that’s okay – it will melt eventually – just keep whisking. Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches a dark amber color. At that point, whisk in the salt, and then add the butter all at once and whisk until it is completely incorporated into the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the heavy cream (it will foam up when first added). Continue to whisk until it forms a smooth sauce.
Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before using in the brownies. The leftover sauce can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (You’ll probably need to warm it up a bit straight from the refrigerator.)