This recipe was adapted from The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country’s Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe. I halved it, adjusted the baking time, and streamlined it for people who already have a vague idea of how to bake. For amateur bakers, The Pastry Queen book is great because it goes into detail about how to do very simple things (melt chocolate, for instance). I figured anyone reading this can handle fewer details in the instructions, but feel free to comment if you need clarification.
Here’s what the caramel brownies look liked after being cooled and chilled. They did not look like this right out of the oven. At that point, they were gooey and crumbly. So don’t forget to make these a few hours or even a day before you plan on serving them.
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken up**
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) (I used unsalted)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 bag (7 ounces) unwrapped caramels
- 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square pan with nonstick foil.
- Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe mixing bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted and smooth.
- Using a wooden spoon, beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time followed by vanilla. Beat thoroughly with spoon for about a minute. Stir in flour and salt.
- Pour half of batter in lined pan and bake for 18 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes. While cooling, prepare filling.
- Place caramels and cream in a saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, or until caramels are melted and smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour over partially cooled brownie layer. Spread remaining brownie batter over caramel. Cook for another 18 minutes.
- Let cool completely then chill Use parchment to lift brownies from pan.
- Cut into squares.
For the chocolate, I find that a dark chocolate or semisweet or one that's around 60% works better than 70 or 85% chocolate.