Sunday, June 5, 2011

Turtle Brownies

I have had a dire need to bake something! I feel like I have neglected my kitchen for the past couple of weeks because work has been super busy. I have been so mentally exhausted by the time I get home that I cannot fathom doing anything else that involves using my brain. Do you ever have those moments? Well now, my brain is screaming for some baked stimulation! Work is going to be a bit insane for the remainder of the month, so I need some fuel to recharge and stay focused. Plus Matt has literally asked me five times this week to bake something. How can I say no to the man I love so dearly? :)
These brownies were just what I needed to top off my weekend. They are phenomenal!!! I had no trouble deciding what I wanted to bake... I wanted to recreate the sweetness of a turtle candy into the form of a brownie. I stumbled upon a few recipes for caramel brownies that were recently adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather. I do not have this book, so I have not seen the original recipe, but I might have to run out and buy it tomorrow. :) These brownies were definitely some of the best brownies I have had in a long time, and I'll make sure to keep this recipe handy because I sense that I might have future cravings for these sweeties. Delicious!!

Yields 9-12 brownies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
7 oz caramel candies, unwrapped
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp light cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches of overhang along two sides. Grease parchment and sides of dish with baking spray; set aside.

Cut butter into 6 cubes and combine with chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until completely melted. Transfer chocolate mixture into a medium size mixing bowl, and whisk in both sugars, eggs, and vanilla until incorporated. Stir in flour and salt just until combined. Evenly spread half of the batter in the prepared dish and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place pecans in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Toast until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Combine caramel candies and cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat until melted and smooth, stirring frequently. Stir in half of the pecans, and immediately spread caramel mixture over the bottom brownie layer. Carefully pour and spread the remaining brownie batter over the caramel layer. Top with the remaining pecan pieces, and bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Lift the brownies from the pan and remove parchment paper. Cut into squares. Store brownies in airtight container.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather

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