Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Brownies.
The holidays just got a little bit sweeter with these Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Brownies. Homemade caramels stuffed into a milk chocolate and hazelnut brownie batter. Then baked and finished with a light sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Every last bite of these indulgent brownies is melt in your mouth delicious. Package them up for gifting, or serve as your Christmas dessert. They’re simple to make and guaranteed to be hit!
As the days until Christmas dwindle down, I am slowly slipping into holiday mode. Well, kind of…in my head I’m slowly slipping into holiday mode. But in reality I’m still working to cross off all the last-minute items on my to-do list. So crazy to think the end of the year is almost here. I’m very much looking forward to 2019 (and very excited for “healthy January 2019”). But I’m even more excited for Christmas, and all the indulgences that come with it, like these salted caramel brownies.
And of course family, friends, more good food, plenty of snow, chill time, and hopefully so much more! But right now it’s all about these brownies. If there was ever any food close to being perfect, it’s these brownies.
Every square inch of them is delicious. The edges are crisp, the center is ooey gooey, they’re perfectly sweet. They have the best chocolate flavor, with hints of coffee and hazelnut, and no one can pass them up!
I’m calling them the Christmas Brownie.
All month long I’ve really want to make a delicious caramel dessert, but I just never came up with a solid idea. I thought about pies and contemplated cookies. But sometime before heading to New York last week, I made a caramel brownie for my cookie box and fell in the love with the end result.
They where everything you could want out of a brownie. The perfect crispy edges, a soft gooey caramel and milk chocolate filled center, and a light touch of salty flavor. I mean, so perfect, right?
Here are the details.
To start, make the caramel. Now I know a lot of people are scared of homemade caramel, but honestly it’s not that tricky. And this particular caramel doesn’t need any special equipment. It’s truly pretty easy to make. You just need four simple ingredients, sugar, butter, heavy cream, and vanilla. Melt the sugar, add the butter and cream, bring the sauce to a boil, then remove from the heat, add the vanilla and done. Nothing too hard, right?
I like to pop the caramel into the freezer to quickly firm it up and then cut into squares. This just makes arranging the caramel into the brownie batter a much easier and cleaner process.
While the caramels firm up in the freezer, make the brownies.
I used my favorite base brownie batter, but added milk chocolate and a touch of hazelnut liquor. Yes, these brownies are extra decadent. But it’s December, and everything this month should be over the top…healthy food to follow in January! The hazelnut liquor, while totally optional, really adds that extra special touch that every holiday dessert should have. And I love the flavor paired with the sweet caramel.
Once the brownies are baked and out of the oven, it’s important to let them cool a bit so they can stiffen up. These are very gooey brownies, but especially when warm, thanks to the runny (delicious) caramel.
Once cool, you can cut and serve them or wrap them up much easier. That said, these brownies are DELICIOUS warm out of the oven. I would even go out there and say that these would be awesome with just a spoon. Ooh, or maybe in a bowl with a scoop of ice cream? Wow, oh wow, yes, that would be good.
Either way you serve these up they’re going to be great.
A little tip? If you need to impress anyone over the next couple weeks (like say your boyfriend’s family), make them these brownies. They will be hooked, on both you and these delicious treats!
This could be both a good thing or bad thing, depending on how often you like to make brownies. Either way, be sure to make these brownies for all to enjoy this season.
If you make these brownies, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Brownies
The holidays just got a little bit sweeter with these Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Brownies. Homemade caramels stuffed into a milk chocolate and hazelnut brownie batter. Then baked and finished with a light sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Every last bite is melt in your mouth delicious!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons hazelnut liquor (optional)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- flaky salt
1. To make the caramel. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a large pot, cook the sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat proof rubber spatula until the sugar has melted and turns a golden caramel, about 8 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the chunks of butter, whisking until combined. The caramel will bubble and begin to hard, just keep stirring and slowly add the cream and then whisk until combined.
3. Return the pot to medium heat and cook the mixture, stirring until the caramel has thickened, about 5 minutes, Remove from the heat and stir in a pinch of salt and the vanilla. Pour into the prepared pan. Transfer to the freezer and freeze for 20-30 minutes to harden. Cut the caramel into 1/2 inch squares.
4. Meanwhile, make the brownies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
5. Add the butter and chocolate to a medium microwave safe mixing bowl. Microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth. To the melted chocolate whisk in the sugar, instant coffee, vanilla, hazelnut liquor (if using), and eggs until smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder, flour, and salt until just combined. Try not to over mix the batter, it will be thick.
6. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it in an even layer. Arrange half of the caramel squares over the brownie batter (you will have leftover caramel, save for another use). Spread the remaining brownie batter over the caramels. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the brownies are set on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting, at least 30 minutes. The brownies will be very gooey. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving.
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