Rich. Smooth. Chocolate chip fudge brownie.
Layered with crunchy walnuts and swirled in creamy homemade caramel….
O ya, and then topped in another solid layer of gooey delicious caramel…
These are serious brownies.
For not so serious bakers (these are super simple!).
Don’t let the homemade caramel scare you off. I’ve always shied away from making homemade caramel. It’s such a touchy little candy. You have to break out the candy thermometer (I found mine all dusty and shoved in the back of my pantry- obviously don’t use it that often) plus its easy to burn. And when its overcooked its grossssss. I’ve done it. Trust me.
But this time around it was actually super simple. Here’s the secret…. pay attention. I always cook with the TV on, with one hand stirring the batter and the other holding my cellphone. All you’ve go to do is watch what you’re doing and you’ve got amazingly delicious homemade caramel in like 15 minutes.
So all in all, lesson learned today; Caramel is actually pretty easy to make. Cleaning the pots and measuring cups with hardened caramel stuck all over them- huge pain in the butt.
So let’s make homemade caramel for these super decadent Caramel swirl fudge nut brownies …..
Here’s what you need to start the caramel:
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Mix the cream and salt in a small bowl.
- Combine water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Carefully pour sugar into center or saucepan, taking care not to let sugar crystals adhere to the sides of the pan. Gently stir with a spatula until thoroughly moistened.
- Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered and without stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved and liquid is clear, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Uncover and continue to cook, without stirring but gently swirling saucepan occasionally, until caramel is a pale golden color, 3 to 5 more minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook (swirling occasionally) until caramel is a light amber color and your candy thermometer reads about 360 degrees, about 1 to 3 more minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat and carefully add cream to center of pan and stir with spatula until bubbling subsides. (Be careful here! The caramel will bubble pretty high and you don’t want to get burned. Use a mitt while stirring.)
- Stir in butter and vanilla and transfer caramel to a liquid measuring cup.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks, divided (I always just use the nestle chunks)
- 1/3 cup fat-free milk
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9 inch metal baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.
- Combine 1/2 cup chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir in butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add milk mixture, 1/2 cup chocolate, and 1/4 cup nuts to flour mixture; stir to combine.
- Pour half of brownie batter into 9-inch square metal baking pan.
- Drizzle 1/4 cup of caramel over brownie layer. (If your caramel has hardened just microwave for 30-60 seconds until its pourable)
- Drop remaining brownie batter by spoonfuls over caramel layer and gentle spread with a spatula.
- Drizzle another 1/4 cup carmel over final brownie layer. Using a butter knife, gently swirl caramel into batter.
- Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging.
- Cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 1 to 2 hours.
- Heat remaining 3/4 cup of caramel and spread over cooled brownies. Use a spatula to smooth evenly.
- Refrigerate brownies for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Cut into 20 pieces and enjoy either chilled or at room temperature.
Caramel adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Fudge Nut Brownie adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
And now even more important than these delicious brownies, I want to give a big Thank YOU and send lots of love to Emily from Life on Food for awarding me my Second Liebster Award!!
In honor of the tradition of the award, I’d like to award another 5 lovely bloggers for their amazing and delicious content! Again, I really have no clue how to figure out how many followers bloggers have (I’m still a little tech challenged….) so I’m just picking my favorite blogs to let them know how much I enjoy searching through their yummy content every day! These special bloggers are my go-to sites, the ones that I check every morning for delicious inspiration!