salted caramel brownies

DSC_0036What do you get when you take your absolute favorite brownie recipe and add caramel and sea salt to it?

IMG_3287You get a masterpiece, I’m saying a brownie lovers dream. These brownies are not your typical cake-like brownies, they’re more fudge-like in consistency, but fudge-like in a good way, like mouthwatering lick your fingers and plate sort of way.  I absolutely love these brownies, hence the name, Robert’s absolute best brownies.  Zoe and I have been talking about making caramel and sea salt brownies for sometime, so I decided to surprise her one day after school. I didn’t research another brownie recipe because these are our family’s favorite recipe, so why re-invent the wheel, right? I’m so glad that I added the caramel and sea salt, because not only do we have one favorite brownie recipe, but we now have two. I must warn you that these brownies are not low in calories and they’re not for the faint of heart.  These brownies are decedent, rich, and oh so fudgey, but so worth the indulgence. You will be licking your fingers, plate and fork after eating not one, but possibly two of these brownies.

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salted caramel brownies:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped – I used two 4-ounce bars of Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet cacao   
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large (or extra large eggs), at room temperature – FYI, I always use extra large eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose-flour
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips – I used my favorite 60% bittersweet chocolate chips from Ghirardelli 
  • 4 tablespoons caramel, you want a true caramel sauce here, not one that has a lot of milk or cream in it – I used Frans (see photo below), and for those of you that are local, you can get it at Paradise Foods
  • few pinches of Maldon or flaky sea salt crystals – I used Baleine coarse sea salt crystals

DSC_0004 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the inside of an 8-inch (I used my 8-inch glass baking dish) or 9-inch square baking pan with 2 lengths of foil or parchment paper, positioning the sheets perpendicular to each other and allowing the excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan.  Then lightly butter the foil or parchment paper.  I always butter the bottom piece so that the top piece sticks to it.  

DSC_0006Chop up and measure out your chocolate. I love using these Ghirardelli bars because they’re each 4-ounces, (8-ounces total) so I don’t have to measure anything.

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These bars are also thin enough to break apart with my hand so I don’t have to actually chop them up with a knife. I break them apart in little pieces (I’m strong like bull) right over the heatproof bowl that I’m going to melt the butter and chocolate in (I do this before I set the bowl over the simmering water). It saves me a cutting board and knife to clean up. If you don’t have thin chocolate bars like these, then chop up your chocolate using a serrated knife. I always place some parchment paper on top of my cutting board when chopping up chocolate, as it helps make clean up easier and you can always just lift and pour those small pieces of chocolate into your pan.  

DSC_0046Placed the chopped chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl.  Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, (make sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until melted and smooth.

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DSC_0010Immediately remove the chocolate from the heat and pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl (unless the bowl you’re using to melt the chocolate in is large).  Make sure you use a spatula here so you can get all the chocolate goodness into the bowl. Add the 3/4 cup sugar and the 1 teaspoon vanilla to the melted chocolate, and using a whisk, mix until combined.

DSC_0062Using a whisk, add in the eggs 1 at a time until combined.

DSC_0073Add the 1/4 cup flour, and using a whisk, stir the batter energetically for 1 minute until the batter loses it graininess, becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the bowl.  The batter will also lighten up a bit in color.

DSC_0074-2Note: This is a very important step!  Make sure that your stir vigorously for 1 full minute or a bit more.  I suggest timing yourself as I did.  By doing this step you will end up with a batter that’s rich, thick, satiny smooth, and glossy as can be and brownies that are rich and fudge-like.

I’m going to warn you that you are going to have one tired arm after stirring vigorously for a minute, believe me!  You can always switch arms halfway through the process.

DSC_0014Using a spatula, gently fold in your chocolate chips.

DSC_0020Scrape the batter into the prepared pan using a spatula to make it even on top.

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DSC_0025Bake until the center feels almost set and the edges are a bit firm, about 30-35 minutes.  Do not over bake.  In my oven, my brownies are done around 32-33 minutes. Note:  Ovens vary in temperature and baking times, so get to know your oven and know how long it takes to bake things.  If your oven tends to cook things faster, then check it before 30 minutes etc. 

DSC_0134The first time I baked these, I honestly thought they were underdone, as they were soft and gooey in the center when I cut them, but that’s the way they are supposed to be. They are truly more of a fudge-like brownie than cake-like one.  They will also firm up as they sit and cool.

When the brownies are almost done cooking, measure out 4 tablespoons of caramel into a liquid measuring cup or small microwaveable safe bowl.  It’s easier to use a measuring cup with a pour spout, because you’re going to be pouring the caramel over the brownies.  Make sure you have some little helpers around to lick the spatula and the measuring spoon. My kids are my spoon and bowl lickers.

DSC_0014-2As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, place the caramel in the microwave and heat for about 20 seconds, or until it’s pourable. Give it a quick stir. Drizzle the caramel over the brownies in a zig zag up and down pattern until all of the caramel is gone.

DSC_0036Sprinkle on some sea salt and let the brownies cool completely (for about an hour or so) in the pan before lifting the foil or parchment paper and the block of brownies out of the pan.  The brownies need to set, and if you cut into them too early then they will be gooey.

DSC_0042When the brownies have cooled, peel down the parchment paper and using a sharp knife, cut the brownies into squares, and store in an airtight container.  See how rich and gooey they are.

DSC_0011 What’s great about these brownies is that they stay moist for a few days and don’t dry up like other brownies.  The brownies will get firmer as they sit. Pair these with a cold glass of milk or a side of vanilla bean ice-cream.

salted caramel browniesNote:  My ZipList is acting up and centering all of the directions.  Please know that when your print the instructions, they will be aligned to the left.

salted caramel brownies

salted caramel brownies

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped – I used two 4-ounce bars of Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet cacao
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large (or extra large eggs), at room temperature – FYI, I always use extra large eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose-flour
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips – I used my favorite 60% bittersweet chocolate chips from Ghirardelli
  • 4 tablespoons caramel, you want a true caramel sauce here, not one that has a lot of milk or cream in it - I used Frans (see photo below), and for those of you that are local, you can get it at Paradise Foods
  • few pinches of Maldon or flaky sea salt crystals - I used Baleine coarse sea salt crystals

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the inside of an 8-inch (I used my 8-inch glass baking dish) or 9-inch square baking pan with 2 lengths of foil or parchment paper, positioning the sheets perpendicular to each other and allowing the excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan. Then lightly butter the foil or parchment paper. I always butter the bottom piece so that the top piece sticks to it.

Chop up and measure out your chocolate. I love using these Ghirardelli bars because they're each 4-ounces, (8-ounces total) so I don't have to measure anything.

These bars are also thin enough to break apart with my hand so I don't have to actually chop them up with a knife. I break them apart in little pieces right over the heatproof bowl that I'm going to melt the butter and chocolate in (I do this before I set the bowl over the simmering water). It saves me a cutting board and knife to clean up. If you don't have thin chocolate bars like these, then chop up your chocolate using a serrated knife. I always place some parchment paper on top of my cutting board when chopping up chocolate, as it helps make clean up easier and you can always just lift and pour those small pieces of chocolate into your pan.

Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, (make sure that the bowl doesn't touch the water) and melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until melted and smooth.

Immediately remove the chocolate from the heat and pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl (unless the bowl you're using to melt the chocolate in is large). Make sure you use a spatula here so you can get all the chocolate goodness into the bowl.

Add the 3/4 cup sugar and the 1 teaspoon vanilla to the melted chocolate, and using a whisk, mix until combined.

Beat in the eggs by hand, 1 at a time until combined.

Add the 1/4 cup flour, and using a whisk, stir the batter energetically for 1 minute until the batter loses it graininess, becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the bowl. The batter will also lighten up a bit in color.

Note: This is a very important step! Make sure that your stir vigorously for 1 full minute or a bit more. I suggest timing yourself. By doing this step you will end up with a batter that’s rich, thick, satiny smooth, and glossy as can be and brownies that are rich and fudge-like.

Using a spatula, gently fold in your chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan using a spatula to make it even on top.

Bake until the center feels almost set and the edges are a bit firm, about 30-35 minutes. Do not over bake. In m oven, my brownies are done around 32-33 minutes. Note: Ovens vary in temperature and baking times, so get to know your oven and know how long it takes to bake things. If your oven tends to cook things faster, then check it before 30 minutes etc.

The first time I baked these, I honestly thought they were underdone, as they were soft and gooey in the center when I cut them, but that's the way they are supposed to be. They are truly more of a fudge-like brownie than cake-like one. They will also firm up as they sit.

When the brownies are almost done cooking, measure out 4 tablespoons of caramel into a liquid measuring cup or small microwaveable safe bowl. It's easier to use a measuring cup with a pour spout, because you're going to be pouring the caramel over the brownies.

As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, place the caramel in the microwave and heat for about 20 seconds, or until it's pourable. Give it a quick stir. Drizzle the caramel over the brownies in a zig zag up and down pattern until all of the caramel is gone.

Sprinkle on some sea salt and let the brownies cool completely (for about an hour or so) in the pan before lifting the foil or parchment paper and the block of brownies out of the pan. The brownies need to set, and if you cut into them too early then they will be gooey.

When the brownies have cooled, peel down the parchment paper and using a sharp knife, cut the brownies into squares, and store in an airtight container.

What's great about these brownies is that they stay moist for a few days and don't dry up like other brownies. The brownies will get firmer as they sit. Pair these with a cold glass of milk or a side of vanilla bean ice-cream.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2013/03/salted-caramel-brownies/

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve been waiting all my life for these! :) They look so amazing. Love your photography!
    Hope you have a good day – still have this darn cold but I’m trying not to let it slow me down too much. Working today a bit and then running errands. Talk to you soon! xoxo, Sharon

  2. says

    They look incredible, as do the brownies in your other post, but this post is an enhanced version :) That layer of caramel poured over them is just the best. I love caramel and love that you used it! It’s funny we both posted caramel brownies this week! If I hadnt made the brownie base I chose, yours was next! In writing the post and the recipe, I was cross referencing it against the Robert’s recipe of yours. In the end went with cocoa rather than melted choc/butter after years of debating about just doing it. lol Great, drool-worthy images on these, too! :)

    • jackiegrandy says

      Yes, Averie this is definitely an enhanced version. I had to make these three times to get the shot I liked. I think the bright white background really helped. Someday I will get you to make the Robert’s brownies, just kidding, you have enough brownie and cookie recipes to choose from. I can’t wait to make up those peanut butter and chocolate cookies today. :)

  3. says

    this is exactly EXACTLY the kind of something sweet I need right now! Like as in right this very moment I am headed to the kitchen to bake these for my kids and husband! heck- who am i kidding- if they touch these brownies i will hurt them:)))))))) Love that you added in sea salt. I truly think salt brings out the flavor of chocolate! YUMMMMMM!

    • jackiegrandy says

      You’re hilarious Jessica! These are strangely addicting. I find myself sneaking bites of these throughout the day. My kids come home and wonder why there are less brownies under the cake dome than when they left in the morning. Hmmmmm…. I just stay silent and shrug my shoulders :)

  4. says

    I may or may not have just drooled while reading this recipe. I need to get my hands on some caramel sauce so I can make these. We have friends moving back on Saturday and these would be the perfect welcome home treat!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Yes, Michelle, make them and your friends will be happy they moved back to a great friend like you :) I have given these to many friends to sample and everyone has loved them, especially now that I added the carmel and salt. :)

  5. says

    i love fudgy brownies. love…if they were cakey then i feel like i should just eat a cake…and boy do i wish i were local to get a container of that Fran’s caramel..I will have to check out a few of our stores to see what I come up with. I bet your daughter was so pleasantly surprised to come home from school and have these as a treat…can’t wait to make these for my kiddos!!!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Angela. I feel the same way when it comes to brownies. I like them fudgey and full of rich chocolate flavor. I’m sure if you can find another caramel thats just as good as Frans. That just happened to be the caramel that my neighborhood grocery store carried. I’m sure there are other ones that are just as tasty. Yes, Zoe was totally happy as well as Eli. I wish I took a picture! xoxo, Jackie

  6. Anonymous says

    OMG! These were the best brownies ever! I made up a batch today and I have to tell you that they’re almost gone. They’re so rich and fudgey! This is my new go-to brownie! Sarah

  7. jackiegrandy says

    Awesome Sarah! I’m so glad you loved these and that you found a new go-to brownie recipe. This is by far my favorite brownie recipe ever! Thanks for letting me know how they turned out for you! xoxo, Jackie

  8. Anonymous says

    I saw this recipe on foodgwaker and had to make it. These brownies are the BOMB! I made them yesterday for my family and they’re now gone! I’m going to make up another batch this weekend. Thanks for a great recipe. :)

    • jackiegrandy says

      Awesome! I love hearing comments like yours! I’m so glad you liked them and that you’re making them again! Whoo hooo! xoxo, Jackie

  9. Sandy says

    Well I was going to make brownie bites but then someone mentioned salted caramel brownies and I found your recipe and brownie bites aren’t going to cut it anymore. I will be stopping by the shop tonight and I will definitely be making these brownies this weekend.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Sandy! I think you will like these brownies so much better than brownie bites as they are super rich and fudgey. I hope you enjoy ;) xoxo, Jackie

      • Sandy says

        I made them last night! They were definitely rich and delicious. Though I think because our house is so hot they won’t firm up properly so they are extra gooey but no ones complaining ^_^. Thank-you for the recipe, this was my first time making brownies with actual chocolate instead of just cocoa powder (definitely a big improvement).

        • jackiegrandy says

          Hi Sandy! These brownies are very fudge-like in texture, but still firm enough to cut into squares and eat with your hands. Maybe next time you may want to cook them a bit longer if they are too gooey. It always takes me a couple of time to gage the cooking time on a particular recipe in my ovens. Sometimes just 1-2 minutes more makes all the difference and also the time of year as well. I’m glad your first batch of brownies were a tasty hit! Thanks for letting me know how they turned out for you. Also, how tired was your arm after whisking the brownies for 1 minute straight? That always tires my arm out :) xoxo, Jackie

          • Sandy says

            Hi Jackie,

            Thanks for the tip :). I’ll try leaving the brownies in longer next time. My arm definitely got a work out with the whisking but I suppose that just means I can have an extra slice ;). Oh and they are definitely fudge like, I took a small square with me to work and placed it in the fridge and when I bit into it afterwards, it was just like a piece of fudge.

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