salted caramel brownies

Sometimes after a long run you just need something sweet and delicious.  I was reading smitten kitchen last night and found the most magnificent pictures of salted caramel brownies that I have ever seen.  As soon as I laid eyes on them I knew they would be on tap for today after my long run.

Jess is finishing up the training for her half marathon in two weeks, so today I ran 6 with her and 1 home for a total of 7, the most miles since Reach the Beach. Jess finished up with another 5 to make it 11, her longest run to date!  So proud!!!

As soon as I got home, I jumped in the shower, thew on some yoga pants, and then went to work on these babies!

Salted Caramel Brownies, adapted from smitten kitchen

Makes 1 8×8 pan

For the Caramel:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Brownie:
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Make the caramel:

Set a square of parchment paper over a medium-sized plate. Lightly butter or coat the parchment with a spray.

In a medium, dry saucepan over medium-high heat, melt your sugar, stirring to break up any large chunks. When melted it should be a nice copper color; if not, keep cooking.  Remove from heat and stir in butter. Stir in cream and salt and return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat, bringing it back to a simmer and melted again any sugar that solidified. Cook bubbling caramel for a few minutes more, until it is a shade darker.

Pour out onto parchment-covered plate and transfer plate to your freezer. Freeze until solidified, which can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.

Make the brownie:

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray or line 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment, extending it up two sides.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, vanilla and salt.

Stir in flour with a rubber spatula.

Assembly:

When caramel is firm, remove it from the freezer and chop it into rough 1-inch squares, and gently fold all but a small amount of caramel bits into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining caramel bits on top.

Bake in heated oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

***I had a hard time getting my caramel to solidify, what I ended up doing is pouring the batter into the pan and swirling the thickened caramel into the batter and baking.

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Even though I cut these babies into little bite size pieces I ate at least 4 of them!  And, because they are so rich cutting them small works well.  These little treats were just plain delicious and worth the calories…especially after a long run.

Enjoy!

Heather

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