Monday, February 25, 2013

Salted Caramel Brownies

I feel guilty for not posting on my blog frequently.  I hope I haven't lost too many of my readers. : (  Life has been keeping me busy, and in the good way.  My life is full of event after event, and I find myself too exhausted to bake and too wordless to write.  The other day I tried to bake something and literally sat there and stared at my new mixer for 15 minutes before I actually started baking.  My family and friends have been asking me if everything is all right, since I have been so absent from my usual spot in the kitchen.  I have not given up on baking, I just am preoccupied with other things at the moment!  I also find myself truly at a loss for words.  After 4 years of writing posts I can't believe this is the first time I have felt like this.  Don't worry, the next words out of my fingers will not be that I am surrendering and handing in my mixer.  I just wanted to reassure you that I am committed to this blog, and have every intention of carrying on - just waiting for some inspiration!

In the meantime I am going to share another brownie recipe with you.  I know it is Lent, so I apologize to any of you that gave up sweets for Lent - please forgive me!  This recipe was recently posted on the Smitten Kitchen blog - it is rather tasty and I will make it again!  You have to be vigilant when making the caramel otherwise it will burn very quickly - I burnt it 3 times before getting it right!  You will know it is burnt because it smells burnt!

Salted Caramel Brownies

Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Blog

1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Make caramel: Set a square of parchment paper over a medium-sized plate. Lightly butter or coat the parchment with a spray oil.
In a medium, dry saucepan over medium heat, melt your sugar; this will take about 4 minutes, stirring if necessary to break up large chunks. By the time it is all melted, if should be a nice copper color; if not, cook until it is. Remove from heat and stir in butter. It may not incorporate entirely but do your best. Stir in cream and salt and return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat, bringing it back to a simmer and melted again any sugar that solidified. Cook bubbling caramel for a few minutes more, until it is a shade darker.
Pour out onto parchment-covered plate and transfer plate to your freezer. Freeze until solidified about 20 minutes. 

3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla 
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Meanwhile, or when your caramel is chilling, make your brownies: Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment.  Butter the parchment or spray it with a nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together until only a couple unmelted bits remain. Off the heat, stir until smooth and fully melted. You can also do this in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula.

Assemble brownies: When caramel is firm, remove it from the freezer and chop it into rough 1-inch squares.  Scrape batter into prepared pan, spreading until mostly even. Scatter caramel bits on top. Bake in heated oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool thoroughly.

If you want more detailed instructions with pictures check out her recipe here.

Eat your heart out!