Thursday, March 1, 2012

Caramel Fudge Brownies

I combined my favorite fudge brownie recipe with my favorite caramel recipe and added pecans and chocolate chips.  Caramel Fudge Brownie perfection!!!

The brownie batter is a Hershey recipe, and you can find it here.  It is sooooo yummy, and simple, and I usually have all the ingredients on hand!  I have made some adaptations to the recipe (added ingredients) for these brownies, but for a basic fudgy brownie, visit the Hershey website to see the original recipe.  Yum yum! 

Ya know, you could also use a boxed brownie mix and no one would ever fault you.  I keep boxed mixes on hand and use them frequently!  Semi-homemade, it's called!  ;)

Caramel Fudge Brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided
2 cups chocolate chips (semisweet are fine), divided
1/2 to 3/4 cup caramel (recipe below, or you can use storebought)

In a microwave safe, medium sized bowl, melt butter in microwave, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Stir in sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs and beat by hand until eggs and incorporated.  Add cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir gently until mixed.  Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans and 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 t0 35 minutes or until brownie are set in the center and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Remove to cool on a wire rack.

While brownies are baking, prepare the caramel!  Below is an easy from-scratch recipe for caramel that is so versatile.  If you don't want to bother making your own, you can certainly use caramel ice cream topping (though it's thinner) or warm up some prepackaged caramel dip (found by the apples in the produce section).  You could also melt the packaged, individually wrapped little square caramels as directed on the package directions.  Whatever you have time and energy for! 



1 cup butter (no substitutes)
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla 

In a heavy saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk to a boil over medium-low heat.  Stirring continuously, bring caramel to the "soft ball stage", which is between 235 and 245 degrees.  Use a candy thermometer and stir constantly!!!  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour into a bowl immediately to cool slightly before drizzling on brownies.  Save the leftovers for dipple apple slices, spooning over ice cream, filling cupcakes, etc.  


I found the caramel recipe here several years ago and have made it numerous times for caramel apples as well.  You must boil the caramel to the "hard ball stage" for coating apples, however.  Visit the website to see the full recipe for that.  Caramel making may seem intimidating, but it's really easy!  Again, use a candy thermometer and stir, stir, stir!!

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