Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies



I’ve come to the realization that I am always going to be a year or so behind everyone else when it comes to trying new things, be it watching a TV show, shopping certain places or trying new foods. When everyone else was watching Glee, I refused. I started watching it on netflix after season two. I then stopped mid season 4 because it sucked, but that is neither here nor there. Greys Anatomy? End of season six is when I started watching. Stopped watching that also, because they got into subject matter I disliked. I have a hard time finding a modern show I can stick with :-p I’m also that person who didn’t realize what a wonderful place Target was until about a year and a half ago. Now, like most women over 12 and under 95, it’s one of my favorite stores.

When it comes to foods, same thing. I didn’t try a Macaron until about a year ago and now I love them. I still haven’t tried making them myself though. Easier just to buy them frozen at Trader Joes. ๐Ÿ˜€ I didn’t try salted caramel until MAYBE two years ago, a full couple of years after you could find salted caramel everything (salted caramel shoe leather anyone? Maybe a nice salted caramel beef tongue?) on every food page on the internet. That’s one I regret not trying sooner, but live and learn. Stubbornness has its drawbacks and I doubt I’ll be changing anytime soon. The plus though is that, when everyone else has moved past it, yet it’s still a loved flavor, like salted caramel, you don’t have to compete with 5000000 posts each day to get seen. The rest of the foodie world has moved onto marinated llama feet in a balsamic reduction, so the salted caramel treats stand out more ๐Ÿ˜€

One thing I only recently tried was the whole sweet/salty idea. Sure, I’d had chocolate covered pretzels, which I don’t care for to be honest, but the idea of purposely sprinkling salt on top of a sweet food bewildered me. Until I tried it. Just trust me on this if you’re still as hesitant as I was. Will I be sprinkling salt on a Twinkie anytime soon? No. But on chocolate? It adds an indefinable something to the flavor.

I’ve made browned butter brownies more than once in here and they are still a favorite, but these are totally over the top. Moist, chewy browned butter brownies and creamy chocolate chunks, covered with gooey salted caramel, then MORE salted caramel and some coarse salt for crunch and contrast. Totally delicious!

You know the drill….

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1ย  teaspoon instant coffee (optional; my addition. You canโ€™t taste it, it just rounds out the chocolate flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 large eggs, cold from the fridge
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1/2 cup good quality salted caramel sauce plus more for drizzling
  • coarse salt for sprinkling on top

 

  • Position oven rack in the bottom third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
  • Line an 8 inch square pan with foil, letting it hang over the edges to use as a handle later. Lightly butter or spray the foil with cooking spray.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter isnโ€™t foaming anymore and there are browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir often and keep an eye on this. It can go from lovely browned butter to a smelly burned mess in no time flat. This will probably take about 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately add in the cocoa, sugar, water, vanilla and salt. Stir well.
  • Let cool five minutes. Add the cold eggs to the hot mixture, one at a time, beating well (by hand) after each addition. When the mixture is thick and glossy, add in the flour. Beat well by hand for one minute.
  • Stir in chocolate chips or chunks. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle the salted caramel sauce over the top of the batter. You could swirl it in if preferred, but I just let it lay on top, where it gets all bubbly and more or less melts into the batter.
  • Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost, but not quite, clean. Cool the pan on a rack then lift out by the edges of the paper. Cut into 16 squares. Drizzle more salted caramelย  over the top of the brownies and sprinkle with coarse salt. Enjoy!

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Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Brownies

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars



The last post I mentioned being tired. Guess what? I’m still tired. Why, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? Because I have kids, that’s why. last night at about 2am, Joshie came in the room saying he had had a bad dream. We cuddled for a bit, then I put him back to bed. Three fifteen am, Josh came in and said he was scared in his room and he needed a drink. I got him a drink, tucked him back into bed with “Favorite Bear” and “Fuzzy Bear” and stumbled back to bed myself, after tripping over a meowing cat who decided that he too was lonely and swatting at my bare leg was the way to let me know. So, first I had to go clean the rivulets of blood of my leg and put in 33 stitches. Mind you, all of this was after not being able to sleep well anyway because I’ve been dealing with a Migraine. FINALLY, about 5:30, I fell asleep. Then my husband and Josh came to say bye at 6:30 when Russ took Josh to school and himself to work. Fell asleep again… all the way to dream sleep this time…… only to suddenly be jerked awake by the feeling of someone poking me in the head through the pillow I routinely keep over my head to keep out light and noise. What was it, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you?

It was my 18 year old son Zach. He had missed the bus and needed a ride in. After I sobbed for a while and threw a tantrum while lying on the floor kicking my feet, I drove the boy in. And stopped at a gas station for something they pretended was coffee, but I’m fairly sure was really leftover ethanol. So I added cream and sugar to it and hoped for the best.

Which brings us to these bars. I blame lack of sleep and my family for the fact that I let these go a bit too long in the oven and the bottom crust was a weeeeeee bit hard (think machete needed) to cut through. Just remember… in cases like this, do not let me be your foodie role model. You’re welcome for that reminder.

They are good even with the slightly rocky bottom crust though, which says a lot for the bars. These are just my rendition of the ever popular Salted Caramel Butter Bars that are ubiquitous to the internet. They originally came from the cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey which I love and have taken out of the library about 63 times. I mean, really…. just look at the title. Of COURSE I love this cookbook!

The original bars are just crust, salted caramel and crumbles on top. Can we say one dimensional? :-p Not that anything with salted caramel and streuselly crumbs is a BAD thing. I just happened to think it needed something. Whoda thunk it, huh? So what did I do, you ask? You did ask, didn’t you? I added some toasted pecans in the top crumb layer and I added some chocolate chips on top of the caramel layer and increased the amount of caramel by about 4 ounces. See? Nothing earth shaking. Just enough to change it up a bit.

These are SWEET with a capital SWEET! Cut these bars small. I can see layering a couple of tart apples in there during the Autumn season to help cut the sweetness or serving these with some unsweetened sauteed apples as dessert. They just cry out for some tang. Also? Do not cringe when you see the amount of butter in these. C’mon… they’re called butter bars and this is my blog. You expected salad?

You know the drill….

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

  • Crust-
  • 2 cups (1 lb) salted butter, room temp (you can sub unsalted, but add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the mixture if you do)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted in a 350 degree oven
  • Filling-
  • 2 9 ounce bags Werthers Baking Caramels, unwrapped (because you know you planned on leaving them wrapped :-p)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, preferably non stick. If NOT non stick foil, butter the foil or grease it with cooking spray.
  2. Place the butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. You can use a hand mixer for this, but you will end up covered in flour and powdered sugar. Trust me. Cream them together until smooth. Add in the flour and beat at medium speed until you have a crumbly mass of dough.
  3. Pat 1/3 of the dough into the prepared pan; add the toasted pecans to the remainder of the dough, then place the part with the nuts in the fridge. Bake the crust at 350 until it is just firm and a light brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.
  4. While the crust cooks, make the filling. Place the caramels, cream and vanilla extract into a medium bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds. Stir to help melt, then continue microwaving for 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until it is smooth and fully melted. Mine took 2 and a half minutes altogether.
  5. Pour the caramel over the hot crust. Sprinkle with the teaspoon sea salt and the chocolate chips. Get the dough from the fridge and crumble it up over the top of the caramel. It is a lot of crumbs but don’t worry, it works.
  6. Bake at 350 until the filling is bubbly and the top layer is a nice light golden brown. Remember, I said LIGHT. Don’t be like me ๐Ÿ˜› The baking should take about 25 minutes.
  7. ย Let the bars cool completely before cutting. Cut into small squares and serve with something tart…or some nice black coffee.

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Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

Salted Caramel, Chocolate & Toasted Pecan Butter Bars

 

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies




 

I was going through the blog the other day, contemplating redoing some old recipes, using photos that don’t make me cringe. I mean, really, I’m not going to set the world on fire even now with my mad photography skillz but at least now I don’t alternate between hysterical laughter and wanting to gouge my eyeballs out with a spork. Then though? Oh…my….gosh. I sucked.

When I was going through though the recipes though, something occurred to me. I do not have even ONE plain old chocolate chip cookie recipe in here.

Well, guess what? I STILL don’t have one plain old chocolate chip cookie recipe in here. I’m tellin’ you; it’s impossible for me to leave a recipe alone! And while I realize that 900 other bloggers have gone the stuffed cookie route, I’m still hanging onto that possibility that there are one or two of you out there who don’t visit many other blogs, but love me for my special type of charm. Plus, my cookies are different. Please don’t ask me why because I don’t have a valid reason. Just trust me on this. k? We’re cool?

As for a plain recipe for chocolate chip cookies, I’ll get to it. Someday. Maybe.

That title up there? It is not entirely accurate. At least not for me. I changed it up mid way through and stuffed some of mine with peanut butter filled Dove chocolates. Point being… these are easy to vary. Grab your favorite piece of filled chocolate and bury that sucker in dough.

The cookie part of this is based on Jacque Torres recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I changed it up to the point that the basic home baker who doesn’t have a large variety of flours and ingredients can do it. I also cut down on the amount of chocolate in the dough, as even were I not stuffing these, I would have found it too much. But, having tried the original, I can tell you honestly that I didn’t taste a difference. I think the main thing with his is the resting time and the usage of the 2 flours, which I still adhered to.

You know the drill… git to cookin’ ๐Ÿ™‚

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (if you happen to have cake flour, use 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons of cake flour instead)
  • 1 2/3 cup bread flour (no subs)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar (I used dark brown)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces chopped dark chocolate
  • a bag or container of your favorite chocolates (I used a mix of some sea salt caramels I bought at Costco a while back and two different varieties of Dove chocolate, the peanut butter and the salted caramel
  • ย sea salt for sprinkling on top (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Use a strong hand mixer on high or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and beat well.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour mixture just until combined.
  5. Use a heavy rubber spatula or wooden spoon and fold in the chopped chocolate.
  6. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with either silicone mats or parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  8. Scoop out dough portions weighing about 2 to 3 ounces (that is big enough to totally enfold the chocolate so it doesn’t ooze out everywhere). Flatten the dough somewhat and press a chocolate piece into the middle, then close the dough over it. Roll it in your hands for a second to make sure it is sealed.
  9. Bake at 350 for 16 to 20 minutes (it will vary depending on the size of the dough ball and your oven) or until golden brown and mostly firm on top.
  10. Let cool on pan for a minute, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired when still a little bit warm.

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Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Caramel Pie With Salted Caramel Sauce

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie With Salted Caramel Sauce-001

I am one of those weirdos who owns enough cookbooks to fill a room. It would be a small room yes, but a room nonetheless. Adding in cooking magazines like those Holiday ones that come out yearly and old issues of Gourmet and Food And Wine, etc etc, as well as paper cookbooks like the ones Pillsbury used to put out monthly (do they even still do that?) I have over a thousand cookbooks. It’s a sickness. Honest. And in our modern era, it’s a sickness that has gotten worse. How? Because now, I can get a cookbook out of the library and if it’s one that I find I’ve put about 10 or more sticky tabs in to save the pages, that means it a keeper. That used to mean that I would have a bazillion overdue books lol. But now it means that I can find the same cookbook on Amazon and buy it, sometimes for as little as 4 bucks with shipping, and tab the hell out of that bad boy.

But a lot of my favorite cookbooks are older ones that have proved to be tried and true. My Fanny Farmer Baking Book is one that I use often as are, surprisingly enough, a handful of the old Pillsbury paper cookbooks. Probably because, back when I was still learning to cook for a family, I found many recipes that went into our traditional holiday routine from them.

Another that I use is an old spiral bound Nestle Toll House cookbook. I was looking through it for inspiration the other day when I saw a recipe for Toll House Pie. It’s one that many home cooks have made… a chocolate chip cookie dough set into a pie shell. Sounded like something I could play with. The first time I made it, I undercooked it. Plus, the recipe had NO vanilla in it at all and far too much butter, to the point where I had to clean my oven because it lefts puddles of scorched butter on the bottom of it.

This time, I did it MY way. I added in some vanilla extract, used less butter, browned the butter for a nutty flavor (on a side note, with the browned butter, this batter was good enough to just eat out of the bowl! OMG, it was yummy!), added some caramel bits and topped the slices with some salted caramel sauce and chocolate sauce. All in all, made that way, it can be either a special dessert for the family or something worthy of guests.

Don’t be tempted to add extra chocolate chips or caramel to this. You know you’ll want to (we ALL do it ๐Ÿ˜› ) but I think that was part of the reason my first pie didn’t cook correctly. There was just too much in it for it to cook through even though it seemed done. Stick to the measurements here.

You know the drill. ๐Ÿ™‚

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Caramel Pie With Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, browned to a golden brown, then cooled to room temp
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Kraft caramel bits (you can also use whole caramels; just cut into quarters to get the 1/2 cup measure)
  • 1 9 inch pie shell, unbaked (you can use store bought or homemade. I went the lazy route this time and used a frozen shell)
  • A half batch of this caramel sauce or you can use pre-jarred (I used Trader Joes Salted Caramel sauce because it’s amazing and almost as good as homemade) for drizzling…pouring…eating plain…bathing in…whatever
  • Chocolate sauce for drizzling
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, dark brown sugar and vanilla extract.
  4. Blend in the browned butter, then fold in the chocolate chips and the caramel bits.
  5. Spoon into the pie shell and smooth top with a rubber/silicone spatula. Eat what’s left on the spatula. Make sure it’s a lot. You can thank me later.
  6. Bake at 325 for 60 to 70 minutes. The top should be golden brown and dry looking. Let cool to room temp before slicing then use a hot sharp (preferably serrated) knife to get clean cuts. Cut this into VERY thin slices as it’s quite sweet and rich. You should be able to get ten slices from this pie easily.
  7. Top each slice with a (large) dollop of salted caramel and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Sprinkle each slice with a little sea salt if you’re so inclined. If you’re really into overkill and diabetic comas, spoon on some whipped cream too. I won’t judge.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.