15 March 2011

Are ugly brownies still tasty brownies?

Brownies may have been my first real baked-good love. That may be because they were the most common in my household growing up; that and chocolate chip cookies. Either way, you can't go wrong right?

It wasn't until adulthood that I actually started making brownies from scratch. That's right, the boxed kind made their way into my life and my stomach for many years. I may never be able to go back now. Especially now that I have the most adorable brownie cookbook. The Brownie Experience is so precious it's ridiculous. The illustrations are all hand drawn and the writing is all hand-lettered calligraphy. Most important, the recipes are delicious. I've never had a bad experience.

Sort of. I think any problems I experienced with the following recipe could be attributed to myself somehow.

Many of the books brownies have some wild ingredients (One day I will make the Coconut Key Lime Brownies) but since I promised my boyfriend (Michael) brownies when he came home I needed one that I already had all the ingredients for.

Chocolate Caramel Brownies
1/4 cup butter
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup pecan halves*
Caramel Syrup (see below)
3/4 cup chocolate chips

*I lied. I didn't actually use these but they were the one thing I didn't have and it seemed silly to go to the store for one thing. Although later I barely had enough flour so had I needed more of that, there would have been pecans.

Caramel Syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

I was really excited about these. I'll admit that caramel is not something I like by itself but paired with chocolate? Mmmm.... and I got to make it myself. That always makes me feel more accomplished.

Just so this isn't confusing, those white jars contain my flour, sugar, brown sugar, and salt. 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and butter an 8" square pan.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate together over low heat and set aside. In a medium sized bowl beat the eggs with a wire whisk until light. Beat in sugar, salt, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the chocolate mixture and then the flour. Pour into pan.
  3. Bake 15 minutes. While brownies are baking prepare the caramel syrup.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the top with pecans. Top the pecans gently with the caramel syrup, cover completely.  
  5. Bake 15 minutes or until caramel is bubbling. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let the chocolate melt slightly then gently swirl surface with a knife.
  6. Cool before cutting. 
Caramel Syrup:
Bring butter and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stir constantly. Lower heat, stir, and simmer one minute.

I do not have a picture of what they looked like after I "swirled" the caramel and chocolate chips. Why? It did not swirl at all. It could have been my caramel sauce or maybe I wasn't gentle enough. There was no swirling, just congealing. It was a big goopy mess atop those brownies and I was sad. Presentation is important to me, even if I'm just feeding these to Michael and myself.  In an effort to make them look just a little better I melted some caramel candies I had and topped the mess with that. It was not perfect but it was an improvement.

I don't know... ugliest brownies ever? They still look edible right?

 Well, I didn't think they were too pretty. Michael on the other hand, sweet man that he is, didn't see them until the next morning and actually sent me a text to tell me they looked great. His next text was "I'm eating one right now. I don't think I've ever had such a delicious brownie ever!" It boosted my spirits, let me tell you.

They are pretty delicious. The brownie themselves are fudgy and perfect. I'll just have to work on that candy topping.


1 comment:

  1. I would still eat them, they looked great