If you are a brownie addict, or know one that you need to bribe, this is for you. This is, hands down, the best brownie recipe I’ve ever made, and I’ve been through a fair number over the years. Not only are these decadent and addictive, they are really pretty simple and, with my lazy gourmet tips, they don’t even generate too much mess! Check out this post for more lazy gourmet tips…but come back here because you HAVE to make these brownies!
So this recipe is originally from Ina Garten’s cookbook, Foolproof - I love Ina, and I love this book - so much deliciousness here (my second favorite recipe in here is the tomato crostini with whipped feta. OMG)! But, back to the brownies…I’ve included a bunch of notes and observations on how I make these. This differs slightly from the original recipe in procedure (because I am a lazy cook), but the ingredients are all the same.
Salted Caramel Brownies
1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter
8 oz plus 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 extra large eggs (I don’t usually have extra large laying around, but have used plain old large successfully)
1 1/2 Tbsp instant coffee granules
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 to 6 oz good caramel sauce (she suggests Fran’s, which I’ve never found, but have used several of the Stonewall Kitchen ones, and even the Ghiradelli one in a pinch)
2 to 3 teaspoons flaked sea salt, such as Maldon (this one is important to get right! Flaked sea salt is what adds the burst of salty to the overwhelming sweetness and makes this recipe irresistible!)
Preheat the oven to 350’. The recipe actually says butter and flour a 9 x 12 x 1 1/2 pan, but I ALWAYS spray the pan with a nonstick cooking spray like Pam, and then line it with a half sheet size of precut parchment paper with the ends sticking up along the long sides and then spray the parchment with the nonstick spray as well. This will serve as an easy way to lift the brownies out of the pan for easier cutting AND keep the cleanup of the pan pretty minimal.
Melt the butter, 8 oz of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate together. You can do this in the top of a double boiler (use a stainless steel bowl for the top so it can double as a mixing bowl, but make sure it is larger than the saucepan so the steam doesn’t muck up the chocolate and cause it to seize) OR you can do it in the microwave in a large pyrex measuring cup - I use my 8 cup one for this all the time. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. In a mixing bowl or a smaller measuring cup, mix (do not beat) the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla, and sugar. Stir this into the chocolate mixture and let come to room temperature.
Sift together 1/2 cup of the flour, the baking powder and the kosher salt and add to the chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 6 oz of chocolate chips with the remaining 2 Tbsp of flour and stir into the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake!
As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, place the jar of caramel sauce in the microwave (without the lid!) and heat just until it is pourable. Stir until smooth. Drizzle the caramel evenly over the hot brownies and sprinkle with the sea salt flakes. Cool completely before cutting. Using the parchment, I usually lift the whole block of brownies out of the pan at this point. Cutting them after lifting them out of the pan keeps the pan from getting all scratched up as well. Win-win. Even at room temperature, these are sticky and challenging to cut neatly. I have discovered if I pop them into the freezer for a half hour or so first, they cut far more cleanly.
As long as you haven’t overbaked them, these are very moist and keep quite happily for several days in an air tight container. But if you have any left over or just want to remove the temptation to scarf them all down in one sitting, I have found they freeze quite successfully!
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If you made it all the way to the end, congratulations! Here are some other posts you might enjoy:
Tales from the Kitchen: Quick Gourmet