Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Best Brownie I Ever Ate

While pregnant with Lucy, sweets were really not my thing. If I had too much sugar, I felt pretty sick. I never had a craving for chocolate, ice cream, or baked goods. It was very easy to turn down sweets and desserts because they frankly just did not taste good to me. This is why I was actually half surprised to find we were having another little girl - because what female is resistant to chocolate!??!

Now that I am no longer pregnant, sweets suddenly sound amazing to me. While we were stuck in the hospital for 48 hours following the delivery, the only thing that sounded decent on the hospital menu were the desserts - carrot cake, chocolate cake, apple pie, ice all sounded so amazing! I am guessing my sweet tooth came back the second the baby popped out.

When I came home, my Mom made me these most delicious brownies. The recipe was courtesy of the Pioneer Woman and she calls them "Knock You Naked Brownies." This intriguing title might have been the reason Paul could always be found lurking nearby whenever I decided to snack on one of these brownies. The creep.

Anyway, these brownies were basically the greatest thing I have ever eaten. Look at that caramel layer oozing out!! Beautiful.

They really satisfied my sweet tooth and I loved the flavor of the German Chocolate cake mix. Plus, you throw in a bunch of pecans and some chocolate chips - heaven!! The caramel layer is super thick and gooey, making these a bit of a pain to slice without thoroughly chilling first. They also don't look as pretty on a plate but they are so gooey, sticky, and marvelously delicious that nobody will care! Have I sold you on these yet? I think they would also be great heated with a gigantic scoop of ice cream melting over the top. I also have envisioned adding a layer of toasted coconut on top of the caramel to make them more decadent. I think everything is better with a little coconut.

Make these. They are fantastic. Perhaps it's just all my hormones and my newly rediscovered love for sugar talking, but I truly think these are the greatest. Thanks, Mom!

Out-of-this-World Caramel Stuffed Brownies
from The Pioneer Woman

1 stick butter, melted
1/3 plus 1/2 cup evaporated milk
One box German chocolate cake mix
1 cup finely chopped pecans
60 caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips plus 1/2 cup more for the top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-9-inch baking pan.

Begin by pouring 1/3 cup evaporated milk into a bowl with the cake mix. Add the melted butter and the chopped pecans. Mix the ingredients together; it'll be pretty thick!

Divide the dough in half down the middle. Press half of it into the bottom of the prepared pan to make the first brownie layer. Bake until slightly set, about 8 -10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and set aside.

While the brownie layer is baking, in a double boiler (or glass bowl set over a bowl of simmering water) combine the caramels and the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir occasionally until the caramels are totally melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the caramel mixture over the first baked layer, spreading so it's evenly distributed. Sprinkle the chocolate chips all over the top.

Next, on a clean surface or a sheet of waxed paper, press the remaining dough into a square shape slightly smaller than the baking pan. Carefully set it on top of the chocolate chips. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is set. Remove the pan from the oven and scatter the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips over the top. Once melted, use an offset metal spatula to spread the chocolate evenly all over the surface of the brownies. Let the brownies cool to room temperature. Cover the pan and refrigerate the brownies for several hours to allow them to set.

Cut into how many pieces you desire. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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