Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Heart Shaped Salted Caramel Brownies

I'm pretty sure I have an obsession with salted caramel.  I can't seem to get it off my brain.  I want the salty goodness in brownies, on top of brownies, drizzled over ice cream or simply eaten by the spoonful straight from the jar (followed by a dip in toasted almonds).  Believe me, this stuff is dangerous!

Heart Shaped Salted Caramel Brownies

Salted Caramel

1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
3 tablespoon heavy cream

Set a square of parchment paper over a medium sized plate.  Coat the parchment with a non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium-sized, dry saucepan over medium heat, melt your sugar; this will take about 5 minutes.  Stir if necessary to break up large sugar chunks.  When the sugar is melted, it should be a golden copper color; if not, cook until it is.  Remove from heat and stir in butter.  It may not completely incorporate, but do your best.  Stir in cream and salt and return saucepan to the stove over medium heat, bringing back to a simmer to melt any remaining sugar chunks.  Cook bubbling caramel a few minutes longer, until caramel is a shade darker.  Pour caramel onto the parchment-covered plate and transfer plate to the freezer until solidified, about 30-40 minutes.  When caramel is almost firm, make the brownies.


3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350F degrees. Line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with parchment, extending it up two sides, or foil. Spray the parchment with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together. Remove from heat when a few small pieces of chocolate remain and stir until chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Whisk in sugar and then eggs, one at a time. Next add the vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon or spatula.  

Assemble brownies:  When caramel is firm, remove from the freezer and chop it into rough 1-inch squares.  Gently fold all but a small amount of caramel pieces into batter.  Scrape batter into prepared baking pan and spread until even. Scatter remaining caramel pieces on top of the brownies.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely and cut into squares or desired shape (hearts for Valentine’s Day).

*When making the caramel, be careful because it can go from tasting great to tasting quite bitter in a hurry.

*The caramel I poured over the brownies is my go to salted caramel recipe that just happened to be hanging out in a jar in my fridge.  An extra spoonful of caramel drizzled over the brownies and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt could only make things that much more delicious.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

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