Saturday, November 12, 2011

Taste of Sweetness Saturday: Salted Caramel Brownies

Happy Half-Birthday to Me!!

Last year, I found this recipe for Salted Caramel Brownies over at the Brown Eyed Baker.  (She's amazing, check her out!)   I've made toffee (recipe coming later in the month), but I didn't have a lot of patience for browning the ingredients, so I was a little intimidated to make my own salted caramel.

However, I love me some Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownies, so I thought I'd make a trade off.  I'll use the box mix (of course, when don't I??) and then make the caramel and insert it into the recipe as needed.

At first, I looked at the caramel recipe and thought, 'really?  Just put sugar in a pot??' But I followed the directions, and sure enough, the sugar melted.  I took it until it was a nice amber color.  If you look at the picture to the left of this paragraph, look to the bottom right of the whisk.  That's probably the best judgement of how deep of an amber I went.  Then, I whisked in the salt, and followed that with the room temperature butter.

By this point, my thumb was cramping from whisking so much!  But, I kept moving, removed the sauce from heat, added the cream, and stirred until we got to this point.  Then the BBE said to let it chill for 10-15 minutes.

This is where I put it aside and worked on following the brownie box mix.  I followed the "thick" brownie route, as per usual, because I'm not a fan of the "cake brownie."
I lightly greased the 8x8, and poured half of my batter into the Pyrex. 

Nice and thick, but not a lot of batter.  I know I didn't want cake, but there better be enough for at least 10 people!!

Then, I made my 9 dollops of caramel on my half layer.  I used about a teaspoonful for each dollop.

Then, I covered this with the second half of my mix and made 9 more dollops on top.  These were far less orderly and discriminate in their placement because I knew there would be 16 brownies cut from here and I didn't want anyone to feel gypped. 
Here,I took a butter knife and lightly swirled the top of the mix, zagging left and right, and then up and down to create this mostly random pattern.  Then, I sprinkled a little sea salt over the top.

I popped it in at 325 and baked it according to the box's directions.  Both the BBE and Ghirardelli said to not over bake.  When inserting a toothpick, there should be a little  that still comes out with it. The brownies sit for 2 hours in the pan so they "finish up" before being cut.

Fair enough. 
The swirls and salt and REALLY noticeable when they come out of the oven! 

The biggest problem with these brownies? You need to make a double batch, because they'll go FAST!!

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