Friday, July 20, 2018

Connie's Caramel-Stuffed Sea Salt Brownies

I am always on the hunt for a new and interesting brownie and recently I found it while paging through my absolutely favorite cookbook Extreme Brownies: 50 Recipes for the Most Over-the-Top Treats Ever. I have had this book for years and have made many recipes from it, some of which I have shared here before they were gobbled up but I have never made these caramel-stuffed brownies. I am not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing because they are so good that I wanted to eat the entire pan! 

Connie's Caramel Stuffed Sea Salt Brownies
Recipe from Connie Weiss


Caramel Layer

1/3 cup and 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream
tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon bleached all purpose flour
12 ounces (about 43) Kraft America's Classic Caramels
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Brownie Batter

Vegetable shortening for the pan
2 sticks unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 packed cup light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup bleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Milk chocolate glaze

3/12 teaspoons canola oil
3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon milk chocolate chips


1 to 2 teaspoons Maldon flaked Sea Salt


To make the caramel layer, place the cream and the butter in a 2 quart sauce pan, begin the melt the mixture. Then add the unwrapped caramels and add them to the saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stir occasionally with a rubber spatula, until the caramels are completely melted and smooth. FINISH the caramel layer when the brownie base is in the oven.

To make the brownies: make sure the oven rack in in the middle level and preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a 9 x 13" baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and then lightly grease the foil lined pan.

Cut the butter into 1" pieces and place in a heavy saucepan. Be sure to melt the butter on the lowest setting. While the butter is melting, chop the unsweetened chocolate and add it to the melted butter along with the 60% chocolate chips. Whisk until melted and smooth, then turn off the heat and leave the saucepan on the burner while you continue with the rest of the recipe.

In a large bowl lightly whisk the eggs. Place the sugars and salt in a small bowl and then add to the eggs until just incorporated. Briefly whisk the chocolate and then gradually whisk it into the egg mixture until just combined. Briefly whisk in the vanilla.

Place the flour and the baking powder in the small mixing bowl, whisk to combine. Sift through a strainer directly over the chocolate batter. Stir in with a spatula until just combined. Pour half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly with a small offset spatula, bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the base is baking make the rest of the caramel.

Once the caramels are completely melted and smooth, sift the flour over the top and stir well. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Stir well.

Pour the cooked caramel over the HOT brownie base immediately after it comes out of the oven, spread with a spatula. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the top and carefully spread over the caramel mixture. Return to the oven and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Let cool for 15 minutes then glaze. 

For the milk chocolate glaze:

Bring a medium saucepan of water almost to a boil. Combine the chocolate and canola oil in a bowl that will fit over the saucepan to form a double boiler. Once water comes to a boil remove from the heat and place the bowl over the top. Stir with a spatula until the mixture is smooth, once smooth pour over the brownies, smooth in an even layer. Then sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Then refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Remove brownies from pan, cut and enjoy.

If you love baking, and you love brownies you need to get a copy of this book and the good news is that it is on sale for $15.00 or was at the time I was writing this post! You can also order the Kindle edition here for $8.99!

If you get yourself a copy and you make something please come back and share your recipe!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Fine & Raw Chocolate Bars

Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend! Mine was so relaxing that I do not want to go back to work this week. 

This weekend I was lucky enough to try a a few, new to me, candy bars from Fine & Raw and they were so delicious I thought I would tell you about them just in case you wanted to try a few for yourself.

Fine & Raw was started by Daniel Sklaar who came to the US from South Africa for a job in finance. After a couple of years working as an analyst Daniel decided that finance was not for him so he left his job to search for his passion. Lucky for us he discovered his passion was chocolate and he began creating raw chocolate bars in 2007. For those of you who do not know raw food can only be cooked to a certain temperature, and the belief is that it retains more of its nutrients, in the case these chocolate bars 118 degrees.

All Fine & Raw chocolates are bean to bar, meaning that Daniel and his crew start with the raw beans instead of making their bars from ready made chocolate and melting it. 

I was sent a few bars to sample, including Almond Chunky, Sea Salt, and Cashew Butter and they were all delicious but my favorite was the Alderwood Smoked Salt. I love the slightly smokey salty flavor, paired with the rich 70% dark chocolate.

You can find Fine & Raw at Whole Foods or you can order directly from their website.

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post, I was sent several bars to sample in exchange for my honest opinion.