Ah, the beauty of brownies; this classic dessert, when done right, becomes an open door of possibilities able to please any and all personal taste preferences. If you’re just tuning in now, this is brownie week on the blog and that means I’m sharing a number of different ways to spruce up a plain old brownie. If you’ve been keeping track, you’ll realize that this recipe is very similar (dare I say … identical almost) to my other recipes – just with a tweak here and a twist there to make it a completely unique and stand alone new dessert.
Whether you’re putting things on top of a brownie, baking something in to a brownie, or topping another dessert with brownie, there are about a million ways to do it! The idea for this brownie variation came from my mom (thanks, Mom!) and it’s simply delicious.
After already covering my favorite chocolate pairing earlier this week (Chocolate Peanut Butter), I’ve moved on to the next power couple: Chocolate & Caramel.
Let me tell you, in years past I’ve tried making chocolate & caramel brownies before using caramel filled candies and/or caramel sauce and the results were laughable. I had given up on making caramel infused brownies until my mom shared this simply brilliant idea with me; bake half the brownie batter, top with caramel bars, and then layer on the rest of the brownie to finish baking. Brilliant…. and obvious! Once that light bulb clicked I realized how silly I had been with my previous approach, but hey… that’s the beauty of baking – you learn what works and what doesn’t and you improvise from there!
Not a fan of caramel? Ghirardelli makes chocolate squares with just about every flavor imaginable – pick your favorite substitution and have at it!
If you’ve made these (either with caramel or another flavor), I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below or head over to the Weekend Baker Blog FaceBook page and leave me a message!
- 10 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1¼ c. granulated sugar
- 1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Ghirardelli Premium Baking Cocoa)
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ½ c. all-purpose flour
- 2 Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate & Caramel Bars, or 16 individual Ghirardelli squares
- Preheat the oven to 325°
- Line the bottom of a square 8×8” baking pan with parchment paper – spray with cooking spray.
- Using the double-broiler method, combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a medium-sized saucepan or heat-safe bowl.* Melt and mix ingredients together, stirring often and until butter is completely mixed in. The batter should look grainy and thick.
- *Don’t have a double-broiler? Add about 1 in. of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot (make sure it fits securely!), add ingredients and follow the step above.
- After combined, remove from heat and let sit 5-10 min. to cool.
- Using a hand mixer add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add vanilla and mix on medium.
- Add flour and mix thoroughly about 2 min.
- Pour half of the brownie batter into the pan and spread evenly to the sides/corners.
- Bake 15 minutes and remove from the oven.
- Add the Ghirardelli bars on top of the hot brownie; they should almost completely cover the surface of the pan.
- Pour the remainder of the batter on top of the chocolate bars and spread evenly to the sides/corners.
- Bake for an additional 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out mostly clean from the top layer of the brownie (going too deep with the toothpick will hit the gooey chocolate and make the brownie look under cooked.)
- Cool completely and store in a sealed container.