2008-09-17

Over The Top Brownies


Some people like their brownies fluffy... and cake-like. But not me :) if I'm going to lust after a brownie it's gotta be rich and dense and fudgy. These brownies certainly hit the mark on that point... and topped with caramel and chopped peanuts and ribbons of melted chocolate? That just takes them completely over the top!!!

When I made these, I didn't use enough caramel topping or peanuts. I've adjusted the amounts according to how much I'll use next time since I'd like more of the caramel and nuts. But feel free to adjust and use more or less according to your liking. And yes, I definitely think you'll like these!



Over The Top Brownies

Ingredients
for the brownies
1 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate (chunks, disks, chips or mini chips)
for the topping
1/4 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate
18 Kraft Caramels
2 tablespoons heavy cream
chopped/crushed nuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F
Prepare a 9x13 baking dish as follows: lightly spray the insides with cooking spray then with the dish horizontally in front of you lay in one sheet of aluminum foil across the length (left-to-right) leaving enough overhang on the sides so that you can use the excess foil as handles and on top of that lay in one sheet of aluminum foil across the width (top-to-bottom). Spray the foil with cooking spray. You want to be sure the insides of the pan are completely covered and you have foil "handles" which you'll use to lift the slab of brownies from the pan after baking :)

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, both sugars and the vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition until the liquid mixture is completely blended.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually add this into the liquid mixture until it is fully incorporated. Add in the chocolate pieces (chunks, disks, chips or mini chips) and stir to combine. It will resemble fudge frosting at this point... and it will taste delicious!! Spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.

Bake about 40-45 minutes until a few moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted in the center. Don't bake to the point of the toothpick coming out clean or the brownies will be dry. Remove the baking dish from the oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes... then... using the foil handles remove the brownie slab from the dish and cool completely on wire rack.

Put the caramels in a microwave-safe bowl and add the heavy cream. Microwave in 30-second increments until the caramels begin to melt and stir to incorporate the cream. Do not over-cook this!

After the brownies have cooled a bit but are not yet at room temperature, pour the melted caramel/cream mixture over the top and let it set up for a little while. Then drizzle on the melted chocolate and top with crushed nuts. Once everything has cooled and set, but the brownies and enjoy... preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!



Have a delicious day :)