There are people in the world who don't like sweet and salty together. I just don't understand. That's like saying you don't like kittens. But I guess these people do exist, and in my opinion, they just don't know what they're missing. For those of you who do like sweet and salty, then these brownies are for you. They are the ultimate sweet and salty treat. You have two main components to this dessert - a thick, fudgy, dense and chewy brownie, and a homemade salted caramel sauce. Unlike these caramel brownies, these aren't so much caramel filled as they are caramel enhanced. It's not its own distinct layer - it just kind of melts in the rest of the brownie, leaving them incredibly moist and chewy, with that wonderful sweet and rich taste from the caramel. Sprinkle the tops of the brownies with a combination of fleur de sel and coarse sugar, and the sweet/salty combo is reinforced. And you're in heaven.
I actually made these on a whim one rainy Sunday, and because the temptation to eat the entire pan was just too great, I sent them to work with Joey. He reported back that they were all gone by lunch, and a few people emailed him to tell him how delicious they were. I'd definitely call that a success!
The recipe for the salted caramel makes more than you need for the brownies, but I trust that you can find something to do with it: eat it by spoonful, drizzle it over a brownie for extra caramel goodness, serve it with some ice cream.... or for the ultimate treat: Brownie - ice cream - caramel- whipped cream. Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
Salted Caramel Brownies
barely adapted from Baked: Explorations
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbs light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp fleur de sel
- 1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbs Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
- 11 oz good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (preferably 60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- splash of Kahlua (optional)
- 1 tsp fleur de sel
- 1 tsp coarse sugar
To make the brownies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
Combine the butter and chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl and cook at 30 second intervals, stirring well in between, until the chocolate and butter have melted. Add both sugars and whisk until combined. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Add three of the eggs and whisk until just combined. Whisk in the remaining two eggs, vanilla, and Kahlua, and whisk just until combined.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the brownies and use a spatula to fold it into the wet ingredients, until there are just small traces of the flour visible
To assemble the brownies, pour half the batter into the prepared baking dish. Drizzle 3/4 cup of the caramel over the brownie batter, being careful not to let the sauce come into contact with the edge of dish. Use and offset spatula to gently spread the caramel evenly over the brownie layer, then drop the remaining brownie batter over the caramel. Again, use the offset spatula to gently spread it in an even layer.
Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with the salt and sugar Cool completely before cutting and serving.