While I was with my family recently, one of my sisters mentioned that she was perusing the blog and came across a recipe with some horrendous photographs. There are lots of these posts. I haven’t taken them down, and I don’t plan to. Even though running across them is like finding old college pics that someone else posted on facebook from a night you kind of want to forget, I’m keeping them up. One of the main reasons is that many of them are good recipes! But we all know that the world of food blogging requires more than just a good recipe. You’d better have some pictures that make people want to make the recipe. I don’t know about you, but these pictures make me want caramel filled brownies.
I decided that I would make a little project out of going back through some of my old posts that have really great recipes and re-doing them, without taking the old ones down. It’s fun to see how far I’ve come in taking pictures of food, writing about the food, and I even think I’ve become a better baker and cook in the past 8 years or so that I’ve had this blog. Here is the old post for these brownies. It was just about 6 and a half years ago. These pictures were taken in our little apartment in China Spring while I was teaching school and Ben was in law school. Things are pretty different for us now!
This recipe is from The Pastry Queen. It’s a great cookbook. Everything is delicious. If you’ve read my blog before you’ve likely heard me (if you can “hear” something in writing) sing its praises. I only changed one thing from the original recipe, and that was to use a bag of those caramel bits instead of unwrapping a bunch of caramels. It worked out just fine.
I highly advise cutting these cold from the fridge and even eating them cold is a great idea. However, warming one briefly in the microwave and topping it with a little vanilla ice cream isn’t a bad way to enjoy these brownies.
Caramel Filled Pecan Brownies
From The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather
- 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 package (11 ounces) caramel bits
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Toast pecans for about 8 minutes, until they are fragrant but before they begin to get too dark. Break apart any large pieces and set them aside.
- Line a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving some overhang. Grease foil generously with shortening. Set aside.
- Combine butter and chocolate in a medium-sized heavy saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Do not let it burn. Transfer chocolate to a large bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Add in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and mix (with a whisk, hand mixer or a stand mixer) until thick and glossy. (
- Whisk or stir in flour and salt. Transfer half of batter (about 2 cups) to baking pan and spread evenly, sprinkle half of the pecans over the batter and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes.
- Once the brownies cool, melt caramels and cream in a medium-sized heavy saucepan and stir over low heat until completely melted and smooth. Immediately spread caramel mixture over baked brownies. Pour remaining brownie batter evenly over caramel mixture and spread gently to cover, being careful not to mix up the brownie and caramel layers.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips and remaining pecans on top and bake for 20 minutes. Cool, then transfer to the fridge for at least a few hours.
- Lift brownies out of the pan by lifting the foil. Remove the foil carefully, bring sure to get all of it off, especially around the edges and the corners where the caramel will stick. Cut brownies into squares. Serve at room temp or cold. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.