This past week I’ve pondered (as I convalesced *sniffle) what this little bake space is deficient of regarding well-loved desserts. I had the startling realization that there is no brownie post to speak of! I love them. What kind of show am I runnin’ here anyway?
I decided if I was to attempt brownies while not feeling great, they would have to be well worth the effort. There was no other way to make myself rise from the comfy indentation I had made in the couch.
The brownie recipe takes a little more time to make than your average batch. I’ve added a scratch made caramel layer in the middle that requires using a candy thermometer, but in terms of difficulty it’s one of the easiest caramels I’ve made.
Caramel Pecan Brownies [click for printable]
Yield: 12 brownies
Prepare caramel filling:
1 cup sugar
8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
3 tbsp light corn syrup
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp. sea salt
Melt the stick of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Pour in 1 cup of sugar and increase heat to medium high. The sugar will begin to bubble and eventually brown. This takes about 6-8 minutes. When the sugar has browned to a caramel color, remove it from the heat source and pour in the heavy cream. Whisk briskly; the mixture will sputter and bubble. After well combined, add the 3 tablespoons corn syrup (at this stage your caramelized sugar mixture will still look grainy – this is normal). Place the saucepan back on the heat source and insert a candy thermometer. Boil over medium high heat until the temperature reads 244 degrees (soft ball stage). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and sea salt. Set aside and prepare your brownie batter.
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8″ pan, set aside.
Whisk together flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then add the vanilla extract.
Beat in the flour and cocoa mixture until a stiff dough forms. With the mixer still running gradually pour in the 2 tbsp. vegetable oil.
Measure out 3/4 cup of batter and set aside. Spread the remaining batter into the bottom of the greased 8×8 pan. Top batter with caramel sauce (caramel will set up if left sitting too long, reheat over medium high until caramel falls from your spoon in a ribbon). Spread 1 1/2 cups pecans over caramel, gently pressing them into the caramel. With a large off-set spatula, spread the remaining brownie batter over the pecan layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into pieces.