Homemade fudgy brownie layer? Check.
Homemade caramel layer? Check.
Fancy french grey sea salt? Check.
What's not to love?
I made a huge pan of these and cut them into teeny tiny little squares, then set each square into a mini cupcake tin. This allowed for easy distribution at work. Feedback is that these were excellent. People who do not normally like caramel stated that they really enjoyed them, and people who had never had the combination of salt and caramel were pleasantly surprised. Success! I'm so happy.
Making the brownies was very simple, but be forewarned that the dough is VERY dry. Don't panic. That's how it's supposed to be. It doesn't turn into a dry, cakey brownie. It stays fudgy and amazing. I promise. The caramel cooks very quickly and sets very quickly, so make sure you pour it and smooth it very quickly or else it will be all streaky. It isn't like a regular caramel - it's much more like a praline type caramel-icing. But it does harden up a bit and is very yummy. Not overly sweet, either. And then of course the sea salt! I used my favoritest from Penzeys but you can use any good-quality sea salt. It's what really ties everything together!
Ugh these were just so good. I would definitely make these again.
Salted Caramel Brownies
Cooking Light, September 2011
3 3/8 ounces all-purpose flour -- (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter -- melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons evaporated fat-free milk -- divided
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate -- coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare brownies, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through baking powder) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add butter mixture to flour mixture; stir to combine. Scrape batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
3. To prepare topping, melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons milk; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and powdered sugar; stir with a whisk until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cooled brownies. Let stand 20 minutes or until set.
4. Combine 2 tablespoons milk and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 45 seconds or until melted, stirring after 20 seconds. Stir just until smooth; drizzle over caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt; let stand until set. Cut into squares.
Servings: 20 (depending on how small you cut it)