Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Salted caramel walnut brownies

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I was all set to make coconut swirl brownies. The recipe was on the counter, and I'd noted the two things I needed from the grocery store. It was a done deal - and then I saw a post from Brown Eyed Baker for salted caramel brownies. Bye-bye coconut, hello salted caramel. I love the combination of salty and sweet - the way the salt makes your mouth water and gives the sweet a little something extra. A quick glance at the recipe eliminated that trip to the grocery store - I had everything I needed. In her post, Brown Eyed Baker mentions seeing a similar recipe on Pioneer Woman. I read through that one and my recipe is a combination of the two. I used the brownies from the first and the caramel from the second. I also added nuts and used 3 types of chocolate - why not?

Now, I do have to say I'm still adjusting to cooking with a newborn around. I set out all the ingredients during one moment of peace. Then during a nap, I set about making them... but she woke up. So I popped them in the oven while I fed her and then made the caramel sauce during the next feeding. It may have taken most of the day, but they were ready for us to enjoy after my little cream puff went to bed. The trick to cooking with a baby in the house, I'm learning, is to choose recipes that can be broken into different parts so that one or two steps can be completed whenever I have a few minutes... After all, we know who now makes the rules in our house! But who could resist this little sous chef!?!


Salted Caramel Walnut Brownies

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 eggs
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
Fine sea salt

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Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with overlapping pieces of foil and spray the foil.

In a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost-simmering water, melt the chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. (Or, melt in the microwave on 50% power for 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.) Whisk in the cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool.

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Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture; then stir in the flour until just combined. Pour about the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and spread into the corners.

Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool completely, then sprinkle the walnuts over the top and pour the caramel sauce over the whole thing. Sprinkle with a little extra sea salt if desired. Allow to set. (Note: I left them in the pan to keep the sauce from oozing. The gelatine helped it set, but in August, it still spread. Keeping them in the pan ensure maximum caramel on each delicious bite!)

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Salted caramel sauce

1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cups Water
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, Cut Into Pieces
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 package Powdered Gelatin Mixed With 2 Tbsp. Water

In a small saucepan over low heat, warm heavy cream. Do not boil.

In a separate tall saucepan, combine sugar and water. Do not stir. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture turns an amber color—not too dark, but definitely amber. Remove pan from stove.

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Add warm cream, butter, and salt. Stir gently until mixture is smooth and well combined. When it is smooth and calmed down a bit, pour in gelatin/water mixture and stir.



baking.serendipity said...

Yum! This is enough to make me change my dinner plans entirely...not just dessert plans :)

Nicole@ The Dirty Oven said...

I so understand the baking and cooking with a newborn. Although my boy is now 10 months old. The whole preparing while they sleep is key. Your pictures and blog are wonderful.. as well as you little love! Enjoy.

Nicole@ The Dirty Oven said...

I so understand the baking and cooking with a newborn. Although my boy is now 10 months old. The whole preparing while they sleep is key. Your pictures and blog are wonderful.. as well as you little love! Enjoy.

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

Oh my mouth is watering. These look delicious!

Anne said...

What an adorable sous chef you have! It must be hard to say no to her rules :) Anyway, I love sweet & salty combos too, and these brownies look just divine!

Kathy Gori said...

Wow! Amazing looking the salt and caramel combo!


Oh dear lord! This looks dangerous...and devilishly luring! Must try!

Susan @ One Less Thing said...

Oy. How could you?? Well I suppose I can't have your baby so I guess I'll have to settle for the brownie recipe to indulge in. Totally adorable. The baby that is :)

Baking Barrister said...

As long as you get to indulge, who cares how long it took? I love the flavor of salted caramel. I would have chosen these over coconut brownies any day.

Auntie Lollie said...

These look wonderful! I'm going to try and make them for a Sunday BBQ.

Thanks for the yummy brownies.

Dionne Baldwin said...

These brownies look perfect and I really admire how you have a system down for your baking. I remember when my girl was a little baby it was hard to do anything that couldn't be broken into naps- I mean steps. I got fortunate because while she didn't sleep through the night until forever she did want about an hour of "alone" time every day just to sit in her bouncy seat and look around or whatever. Your little one is absolutely beyond adorable, kissable, huggable!

I gotta go see if I have what I need for these now.

Matt Kay said...

Salt and caramel seems to be popping up everywhere. And, rightfully so. Those brownies are looking at me right now...sigh.

Oh, say "hi" to the Jerz for me. It's been 7 years since I've set foot on my stomping grounds. :D

The Mom Chef said...

I won't go anywhere for chocolate, but I'll travel far for some good caramel! I've seen these salted caramel posts all over and I can't wait to make it myself!

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