Friday, February 14, 2014

Caramel Filled Brownies

♥ ❤ ❥ ❣ ❦ ❧ Happy Valentine's Day! ❧ ❦ ❣   ♥  

So this is technically not a breakfast food but it was totally my breakfast this morning.

There is nothing a good as a brownie with a flaky top and gooey middle, EXCEPT when you fill said brownie with a delicious caramel. I made these last night for a Valentine's Day treat. Then when I went to make my brown sugar-cinnamon latte this morning, there they were. Staring at me. I just had to eat one (or maybe three) for breakfast this morning. I can totally make up for the extra calories with a healthy veggie platter for lunch today. It was worth it!

Caramel-Filled Brownies
Makes 16 2-inch brownies

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. instant espresso (optional)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate , finely chopped
4 tbsp.(1/2 stick) unsalted butter , melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (17 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. table salt
11 ounces caramel pieces, unwrapped (or caramel bits)
1/3 cup whipping cream

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 pan with foil. Grease the foil.

Whisk cocoa, espresso powder (if using), and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined.

Spread half of the batter into prepared pan and bake 10-15 minutes, until just set. Meanwhile, in a medium microwave safe bowl, combine caramels and whipping cream. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until fully melted. 

Spread mixture evenly over the partially baked brownie. Top with remaining batter and return to the oven to bake for an addition 15-20 minutes.
Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.

Remove from pan and transfer brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Alternative: Add 1 cup pecan pieces into the melted caramels to make Turtle Brownies.

Easy Method: Buy a box brownie mix designed to fill 9x13inch pan. Mix according to directions. Following baking instructions above. (Bake half, pour on caramel, pour on remaining brownie batter, finish baking).

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