You have never met a brownie like this before.
You may have had a certain Starbucks drink with a similar flavor, but let me just be real clear here, although these brownies were indeed inspired by that famous Salted Caramel Mocha drink (that come fall people go crazy for), these brownies I am showing you today are a million times better than that drink could ever be (that has GOT to be a run on sentence!).
I am sure of it.
Believe it or not, I have never actually had a Starbucks drink. Not even those famous Pumpkin spice lattes. I feel like this is a little crazy, since it seems like most people in the world live off of Starbucks, but I don’t drink coffee, so it has just never interested me. When I was middle school though, I always wanted the Christmas cups from Starbucks that I would see people carrying around. I thought they where the coolest. And not gonna lie, I still do, I am a sucker for anything involving Christmas. It’s bad.
And speaking of Christmas, these brownies would be PERFECT for the month of December. I know we are still a few months off, but I am just stating the fact. Also, how is it that Christmas is only 89 days a way (yep, I looked)?
That is just too soon. Way too soon. I am not ready for this year to be over, it went so fast. PLUS, I feel like the barn is never going to be done on time. We are still shooting for Thanksgiving, but oh my gosh there is just so much work to be done in the shortest amount of time. Too much work. Everyone is extra nervous about it. Me especially because, hello I am dying for it to be completed already. I am just praying we do not get any early snow storms that will set us back. As crazy as snow in October sounds, it happens here – often.
Here is the deal with these brownies. They are decadent, but who doesn’t love a little decadence come fall? I have all these apple and sweet cinnamony pumpkin deserts that I want to share with you guys. Think like two whole pages full of apple/pumpkin recipe ideas. But then the thought of brownies took over in my mind and there was no turning back… and really fruits can never make a dessert like chocolate can. So maybe apples + pumpkin next week? Originally, I wanted to share this recipe in December, but I bumped it it up a couple of months because, well I really just could not wait to make them.
And when I called my mom for advice on whether to make extra sweet chocolate brownies or apple pie she obviously said brownies. Chocolate always wins.
I am on a huge salted caramel kick (or a cinnamon kick or a pumpkin kick… it depends on the day). I really want to make everything with some kind of caramel. Caramel apples, caramel brownies and pretty much anything chocolate, but then covered in caramel. I didn’t even used to like caramel, especially caramel apples because they were too hard to eat (I swear I had braces forever!), but I have clearly gotten over this, as I am going caramel crazy over here.
Ok so, these Salted Caramel Mocha + Nutella Brownies are pretty simple. Meaning they do not take a whole lot of time to prepare AND if you are really desperate for a chocolate caramel fix, you can totally eat these while still warm. Preferably with a semi-giant scoop of vanilla ice cream (always).
I actually allowed mine to cool. I know, you probably do not believe me. Trust me, it was hard. So hard, but I wanted pretty brownie squares, so I waited. Err, well actually my patience got the better of me and I ended up sticking the whole pan in the freezer to get them to cool down faster. It worked like a charm, but you just cannot forget about them. Going back to a frozen pan of brownies is not fun. No fun at all.
I made a quick coffee caramel sauce that I spiked with Kahlua because, well, why not? It’s Friday, it’s officially fall and those are the only two excuses I need. Plus, Kahlua rules in my opinion. This is actually the sauce I used last year for this skillet cookie.
Don’t be afraid of making this caramel, it’s pretty basic. You can definitely use a store-bought caramel sauce, but this coffee caramel really plays up that whole mocha theme going on here. Plus, homemade is alway better if you can.
And finally, aren’t you excited this is only the BEGINNING of fall?
Salted Caramel Mocha + Nutella Brownies.
- 2 cup sticks unsalted butter 1 OR 16 tablespoons
- 4 ounces milk chocolate chopped
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons kahlua (optional but not really!)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup nutella
Salted Coffee Caramel (or 1 1/2 cups store-bought salted caramel sauce)
- 1 cup black coffee
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar add 1/4 white sugar if you like a sweeter cookie
- 1 cup canned coconut milk or heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon Kahlua
- maldon salt for sprinkling, flaked sea salt
To make the the caramel add the coffee and brown sugar in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes or until the mixture has reduced to 1/3 cup. Slowly add the coconut milk and butter, whisk to combine. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil and cook 5 minutes longer, until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. If using a candy thermometer do not let the sauce go above 180 degrees F. Remove from the heat and stir in the Kahlua and a pinch of salt, set aside.
To make the brownies. Line an 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper or foil, letting the edges over hang from the pan so later you can easily lift the brownies out of the pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the butter and milk chocolate to a medium size mixing bowl that is microwave safe. Microwave the butter and chocolate on 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth. This takes me about 1 minute and 30 seconds.
To the melted chocolate mixture add the sugar and instant coffee, whisking until completely combined. Add the vanilla, Kahula and eggs and whisk until smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder, flour and salt until smooth and just combined, try not to over mix the batter. It will be thick. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Dollop teaspoon size amounts of Nutella over the batter. Drizzle with three-fourths of the caramel (you may need to warm the caramel over the stove if it has set). Spoon the remaining batter over top, using a spoon to lightly smooth out the batter. It's ok if the batter does not cover up all the Nutella + caramel.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the brownies are set on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Just before slicing, heat the remaining caramel over the stove. Cut the brownies into bars and then drizzle the warmed caramel over the brownies. Sprinkle with salt. EAT!
It means there is so much more of this to come + boat loads of apples, pumpkins and caramel too!