Salted Caramel Brownies

Salted Caramel Brownies

I first fell in love with salted caramel back on a chilly January day this past winter. It was a Friday. The night before, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I went to a Pens/Caps game (we won’t discuss the result), and he was in town and off the next day. So we did what we do best – we went shopping. We were making our way around town when we passed a cupcake shop and I’m pretty sure I was adamant about stopping in. And so we did. We got a variety of cupcakes and busted into a couple once we got back in the car and saved some for later. As it turns out, we weren’t very impressed for all of the hype that the shop gets. The cupcakes themselves were quite dry, but wow the buttercream was the stuff baker dream are made of. Smooth, creamy, not too buttery or too sugary; melt-in-your-mouth frosting perfection. And lucky for me one of the varieties I chose was salted caramel. I don’t even think I finished the actual cupcake part, but rather ate all of the frosting off the top. Salted caramel and I had made a love connection. When we hit up Georgetown Cupcake a few weeks ago, I immediately went for the salted caramel there as well, and fell in love all over again.

Salted Caramel Brownies

Somehow it took me until now to actually make salted caramel instead of traipsing around eating it in the form of frosting. Not that there is anything at all wrong with that though. Right? I couldn’t wait to make it but wanted to do something different with it than frosting since that was the only way I had eaten it so far. I saw a link on Two Peas and Their Pod to The Pioneer’s Woman’s Salted Caramel Brownies. They looked delicious, but I wasn’t sold on using gelatin to make a caramel layer set, so I brainstormed some alternatives. I finally decided that the brownies would be simply marvelous with a swirl of salted caramel, similar to how cream cheese brownies are made. And my sun could rise and set around cream cheese brownies. This turned out to be a fabulous experiment, and a recipe that gets a gold star. The brownies are rich, chocolatey, creamy and salty all in one beautiful bite.

And if that weren’t enough, there’s more good news. You won’t use the entire batch of salted caramel for these brownies, so you will have some leftover to dip apples and pretzels in, drizzle on ice cream, take a bath in… hey, whatever you want! Just enjoy it!

Salted Caramel Brownies

If you received the Brown Eyed Baker weekly newsletter last week then you know the weekly baking challenge was… brownies! Did you make any this past week? If you did, I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment below, and include a link if you blogged about brownies! And don’t forget to add your pictures to the Flickr group for the weekly baking themes! Hope you enjoyed this one!

One year ago: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
Two years ago: Zebra Cake

Salted Caramel Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the Brownies:
5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 eggs
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

Fine sea salt, for topping brownies

Directions:

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with overlapping pieces of foil and spray the foil.

2. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking as the sugar begins to melt. Some of the sugar will harden into clumps, but that's okay - it will melt eventually - just keep whisking. Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches a dark amber color. At that point, whisk in the salt, and then add the butter all at once and whisk until it is completely incorporated into the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the heavy cream (it will foam up when first added). Continue to whisk until it forms a smooth sauce. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before using in the brownies. The leftover sauce can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (You'll probably need to warm it up a bit straight from the refrigerator.)

3. In a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost-simmering water, melt the chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. (Or, melt in the microwave on 50% power for 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.) Whisk in the cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool.

4. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture; then stir in the flour until just combined. Pour about half of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and spread into the corners. Spoon 9 dollops of Salted Caramel Sauce on top of the brownie batter. Top with the remaining brownie mixture, spread into the corners and level the surface with a spatula. Again, spoon 9 dollops of the Salted Caramel Sauce on top of the brownie batter. With a dull butter knife, gently run it through the batter to swirl the batter just a bit (don't do it too much or it will all mix together). Sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top.

5. Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil handles and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

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139 Responses to “Salted Caramel Brownies”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit on August 16, 2010 at 12:25 am

    These look so gooey and delicious- just what I look for in a brownie. Salted caramel is so YUM! Thanks!

    Reply

  2. katie on August 16, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Yum yum! So much glossy caramel and those brownies look lovely and squishy.

    Reply

  3. jenn on August 16, 2010 at 3:33 am

    these look insanely decadent. SO FANCY! I love it! :)

    Reply

  4. Marta on August 16, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Yummy!!!
    They look amazing!! I will try this recipe!
    xoxo

    Marta

    Reply

  5. astheroshe on August 16, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I made Ad hoc at home brownies..and i will tell you they are yummy! and i am happy to try your caramel ones..Mine are not posted :( ..

    Reply

  6. heather on August 16, 2010 at 9:09 am

    i cannot show this to my fiancée — he’ll never request any other dessert! on second thought, would that really be a bad thing?? looks sinful.

    cheers,

    *heather*

    Reply

  7. joudie's mood food on August 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Ok so coming on to your website is literally making me fat! I love this. I have never had a salted caramel anything and i think today is the day to make something like this. I am feeling sorry for myself and know that this would just put me in such a good mood. Love it!

    Reply

  8. Jenny Flake on August 16, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Yum-alicious is what comes to mind, lol! Seriously looks incredible!

    Reply

  9. Maggy@ThreeManyCooks on August 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

    These looks absolutely to die for! LOVE that ooey gooey caramel on top. YUM.

    Reply

  10. maria on August 16, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I love sweet and salty. These brownies look divine!

    Reply

  11. Jess on August 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I cannot wait to try these!! I first had salted caramel brownies at the bakery in Charlotte, NC that inspired PW’s recipe. So when I saw her post the recipe, I had to try it immediately. But man did I have issues, and I swear it’s from the gelatin. The first batch tragically had to go in the trash because they were uncuttable – the caramel just stretched and stretched and was totally rubbery. So I tried again, using less gelatin than the recipe called for, and they were more manageable, but something was still off with the consistency. I think yours will be winners!

    Reply

  12. Cookin' Canuck on August 16, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Just look at that gorgeous gooey-ness of the topping. I could eat several, with a big glass of milk on the side.

    Reply

  13. Danielle on August 16, 2010 at 11:18 am

    This pg woman may need to run to the store to grab the ingredients for these… they look decadent!

    Reply

  14. Michelle on August 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Ooey, Gooey and Chocolate!

    Reply

  15. Joanne on August 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    salted caramel is basically my dream come true.

    Don’t you hate it when cupcake stores disappoint? I feel like blogger has turned me into a megacritic when it comes to cupcake. Why pay five dollars or more when I can make it better myself, ya know?

    Reply

  16. Fuji Mama on August 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Oh drool…only one of my favorite things on the entire planet! Come to me yummy salted caramel!

    Reply

  17. Sally on August 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Hi, I followed your lovely theme of brownies and made some really fudgy decadent ones. Yours look lovely and gooey, looking forward to next weeks theme!

    http://sallyinthegalley.blogspot.com/2010/08/deeply-chocolate-brownies.html

    Reply

  18. Nancy Baggett on August 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Those brownies look so good, and I love caramel and chocolate. BUT my hubby just had scary heart surgery (I just blogged about it), so I feel like I have to make him “heart-healthy” brownies instead. They come out nice & moist & chocolatey, though I admit not as decadent as these. If anyone needs a good, “light,” brownie, they might want to check out my recipe:
    http://www.kitchenlane.com/2008/09/better-for-you-brownies.html

    Reply

  19. Kathy Diaz (found baking) on August 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Such a deadly combination, caramel and chocolate. When I say deadly, I mean delectably deadly. I am so proud of you for just eating the frosting off of a cupcake. That’s a feat! Hahaha! These look delicious. And look at that gooey caramel… mmm I am salivating.

    Reply

  20. Amy (Sing For Your Supper) on August 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Mmmm, yummy! I just love a good salted caramel brownie- the flavors go so well together it’s like they were meant to be!

    Reply

  21. Urvashee on August 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    These look delicious and so chocolatey!

    Reply

  22. Ameya on August 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Oh wow, you read my mind with this post :) I fell in love with salted caramel when I tasted it in gelato, and salted caramel brownies has been on my list ever since! One question: I prefer fudgier brownies, so do you think I could use Ina’s recipe as the brownie base?

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 25th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

      Hi Ameya, I think it would be just fine to use your favorite brownie recipe as the base for these, and then swirl in the homemade salted caramel. Enjoy! :)

      Reply

      • Jen Graham on December 6th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

        Hi there,
        I loved the way your brownies looked and followed your instructions on the caramel to the letter and mine did not turn out well at all. The caramel seemed very runny. Any thoughts on what I did wrong?

        Reply

        • Michelle on December 6th, 2011 at 10:31 pm

          Hi Jen, If the caramel turned out runny it likely didn’t cook long enough for it to thicken up.

          Reply

  23. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on August 16, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Yet again you have me craving sweets! These brownies look incredible… And I can’t get enough of salted caramel, either… Just amazing!

    Reply

  24. Belinda @zomppa on August 16, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    I’m drooling!! These look so good.

    Reply

  25. Jennifer on August 16, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Oh my goodness, these look good. I love the hint of saltiness with the sweet yumminess!

    Reply

  26. Bridgett on August 16, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    I am in love with salted caramels, but paired with a luscious brownie just puts it over the top. I would love to borrow your recipe and give this a go!

    Reply

  27. Julie M. on August 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I love salted caramel! when starbucks started serving up salted caramel hot chocolate, I was there almost every day dropping money for one. These look absolutely delightful. Yum!

    Reply

  28. Kim (Liv Life) on August 16, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Gorgeous photos!! My son will LOVE the sauce over his vanilla ice cream!

    Reply

  29. Alison on August 16, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    These look beyond amazing! Fabulous!

    Reply

  30. Debi (Table Talk) on August 16, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    I am powerless over this brownie; it has everything I love all in one place. Fantastic!

    Reply

  31. UrMomCooks on August 16, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Brownies. Salted caramel. Ur wish is my command… (I have brownies in the oven right now, and they have no caramel…boo.) Lovely pics!

    Reply

  32. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on August 16, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    I have always wanted to try and make a salted caramel brownie… These look insanely indulgent! Great job, and thanks for the recipe! I’ll be trying these for sure.

    Reply

  33. Mika on August 17, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Wonderful recipe!!!
    I’ll try it very soon…I just have to find the unsweetened chocolate…

    Reply

  34. Azee's Kitchen on August 17, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Wow… yummy!!

    Reply

  35. Lori @ RecipeGirl on August 17, 2010 at 9:20 am

    These are just plain evil. Completely deserving of a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream to accompany them, dontcha think?

    Reply

  36. Michelle on August 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I love the combination of salt, chocolate and caramel! Yum! I’m not much of a baker but I like to cheat using Stonewall Kitchen’s salted caramel dark chocolate sauce. SO good!

    Reply

  37. Sues on August 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I too am a big fan of salted caramel and don’t know why I’ve never made it before. These look absolutely amazing!!

    Reply

  38. Maria63303 on August 17, 2010 at 11:07 am

    These look incredible and I can’t wait to be able to try making these. Of course that will have to wait until the weather gets a little cooler as it’s so hot that I hate to even turn on the oven with the a/c which is working so hard to keep up.

    Reply

  39. Katy on August 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

    LOVE BROWNIES!

    Reply

  40. the Housewife on August 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Your photographs look so good, its almost illegal! I feel like diving into a huge brownie with salted caramel pool!

    Reply

  41. Jen @ How To: Simplify on August 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Salt, caramel and chocolate…oh my! These look and sound delicious!

    Reply

  42. Dana on August 17, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    These sounds awesome! I love the salty sweet combo, so I’m sure I owuld love these, too!

    Reply

  43. ladyberd on August 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I was about to make coconut swirl brownies but then saw these. I added walnuts and used pioneer womans caramel, but they came out delish. I absolutely love salted caramel. I’ll be posting on my blog soon – keep an eye out – I’ll include your link. Great blog!
    Cheers!

    Reply

  44. Just Food Snobs on August 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Wow, I was just looking at the beautiful pics of your brownies and it made my mouth water. Salted Caramel Brownies I think cover all the taste sensors in the mouth. Thanks for sharing your recipe and since I have a husband that loves everything brownies, I know he will love these!

    Reply

  45. I don’t much care for the chocolate part, but I’ll lick the caramel off the entire pan if given the opportunity! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Reply

  46. Brooke (Baking with Basil) on August 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    These look so rich and divine!! I just read your ‘food photography 101′ tutorial. I feel like every time I take pictures of food I come across a new hurdle. Hopefully it clicks with me one of these days. :)

    Reply

  47. Delishhh on August 18, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Ok, this is a recipe to save. I think i just wanted to lick my screen. So good, i have a dinner party at the end of the month and this will be my dessert. I will let you know how they turn out.

    Reply

  48. foodlvr on August 18, 2010 at 9:40 am

    These look amazing. I can almost taste them though the iPad screen. Mmmm…can I have a couple for breakfast?

    Reply

  49. bridget {bake at 350} on August 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Salted caramel…it sounds like a MUST MAKE! Really, I’m scared, though. Blogging is sure hard on the waistline!!!

    Reply

  50. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on August 19, 2010 at 6:55 am

    This looks delicious. I’ve been looking for a recipe to swirl into brownies. Perfect!

    Reply

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