I promised Lisa I would make her something chocolate-y for her baby shower. She needed to be able to fully celebrate the joy that comes with NOT having gestational diabetes (yes, I may be a tad jealous ha ha). I searched and searched and finally found this recipe at Cookie Madness, bought all the ingredients and made it late Friday night. I needed to make it the night before so that it can chill overnight so that I could safely cut these very gooey bites of deliciousness. After I had stuck the final step in the oven and it had been baking for about 10 minutes, I had an interesting thought: "It's strange that this recipe didn't call for flour." So, I went back to check the recipe and found, in rather plain site, flour. Yeah, there was no turning back now, I had to finish baking them. I went to bed that night, very sad, that I had bought all the ingredients, made the brownies, and then wouldn't be able to take them to the shower. I was so sad! But, I allowed them to chill overnight, and cut them the next morning. They were incredibly delicious and even more gooey! So, I took them to the shower and watched as the guests devoured my messed up brownies! Jon's aunt even said that the lack of flour probably made them better. Even if that is true, I don't recommend forgetting that vital ingredient. . . they probably would stay together a bit better than without the flour.
Here's the recipe:
Caramel Filled Brownies
1 cup whole pecans
1 cup whole pecans
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter (8 oz)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14 oz) bag of caramels
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or more if you like)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pecans on a cookie sheet and toast for 7-9 minutes or until aromatic. Let cool. When cool, chop.
Meanwhile, line a 13×9 inch pan with Release foil or parchment paper. You could also just line with foil and spray the foil. Make sure to spray the sides so the caramel won’t stick to the sides.
Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and repeat until smooth. Let cool for about 5 minutes. While chocolate cools, in a separate bowl beat sugar and eggs on high speed of an electric mixer for 3 entire minutes. Beat in vanilla. Stir chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Using a mixing spoon or wire whisk, stir in flour and salt. Pour about half of this batter into the lined pan and bake for 20 minutes.
Cool for 20 minutes. While first layer cools, prepare filling.
Unwrap caramels and put them in a saucepan with the 1/3 cup of cream. Heat on medium low, stirring often, until caramels are melted. Stir about half of the chopped pecans into the caramel. Pour the caramel mixture over the brownie layer.
Spread the remaining brownie mix over the caramel filling. It is kind of tricky, so do your best, but don’t worry about covering all the caramel. Scatter chocolate chips and remaining pecans over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for another 20 minutes or until the top batter appears set but not dry. Allow brownies to cool completely (this should take a few hours). I like to cool them and then chill them because it makes slicing easier.
Lift brownies from pan and place on a big cutting board. Slice into whatever size you feel like.
:: Kraft makes special caramels that are already unwrapped, check to see if you can find them. I bought mine in the bulk section at Food Max, they were wrapped. Jon graciously unwrapped them for me.
:: DON'T FORGET THE FLOUR (sorry, i couldn't help but mention that one last time!)