Caramel Brownies

You may all remember that last October I had a bit of an … incident.  With a knife.  The knife and my finger had a little fight over a butternut squash and the knife won.  Well, as a follow-up, this past week my friend and I took a Knife Skills class and I bought a brand new very sharp chef’s knife.  The class was held at The Brooklyn Kitchen, and for any of you locals I highly recommend you check it out.  I’ve taken two classes there so far, and am anxious for another one down the road.  In fact, the class was so well suited for me that within the first five minutes the chef/teacher mentioned the dangers of cutting up butternut squash.  (I informed him that I was his case study for that comment.)

Conveniently, my new chef’s knife is perfect for chopping chocolate, too!

I know my month’s theme is recipes of significance to me, but this one is a bit of a cheat.  Brownies are something I, like most of you I’m sure, ate as a child.  So, this is a brownie recipe.  But, I’m still trying to use up some leftover caramel sauce so I doctored up a brownie recipe to make it a Caramel Brownie recipe, and I have gotten two thumbs up from my official taste-testers.  I assure you the brownies taste better than the photo suggests – they just aren’t very photogenic things.  What can I say, the ugly duckling is always a winner in the end.

Caramel Brownies

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 T vanilla extract
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1 c (+/-) caramel sauce (see below)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with foil and grease well with butter or cooking spray.
  • Heat butter and chocolate in a double boiler, stirring continuously until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.
  • Whisk in sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until incorporated.  Stir in flour and salt until just combined.
  • Spread half of the brownie batter in the pan, creating an even layer.  Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce options:
recipe from Banana Cream Pie
or
store-bought caramel ice cream topping
or
7 oz caramel candies and 1/6 c heavy cream (combine in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring regularly until smooth)

  • Remove layer 1 of brownies from oven and immediately spread 1 c (+/-) of caramel sauce on top.  Pour the remaining brownie batter over the caramel, being careful to have a smooth, even layer because it is hard to smooth out without disturbing the caramel underneath.
  • Bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing.  (Easily remove brownies from pan using edges of foil lining,)

serves: 20
calories: 197 (varies based on caramel chosen)

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