Caramel Pecan Brownies

caramel pecan brownieI love recipes that come on the backs of tins of cocoa powder, cans of evaporated milk, and packages of candies. They are tried and true, the kind of recipes that bakers have relied on for parties, picnics, and everyday treats for years.

These caramel pecan brownies came from the back of a bag of Kraft Caramels, and they remind me very much of one of my favorite candies, the caramel turtle. They’re gooey without seeming under-baked and have a nice crunch from the pecans. Trust me, toasting the pecans is worth it – toasting brings out a richer flavor, which balances the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel very well.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 12 tablespoons butter, cut into slices
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 11-ounce package Kraft caramels
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted and cooled*

*Toast pecans in a 350 degree oven for about 8-9 minutes, until darker brown and fragrant. 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil; spray lightly with baking spray.

Roughly chop your toasted pecans and set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Microwave for 2 minutes, then stir; you’ll have a few lumps of chocolate that remain. Microwave for another minute and stir again until mixture is completely smooth. Set aside for a few minutes to cool very slightly.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and eggs; add chocolate mixture and stir until well-combined, then add flour mixture and stir until well-combined.

Pour half of the batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, until the top is set.

While your bottom layer is baking, unwrap caramels and place them in a medium microwave-safe bowl. With about 6 minutes of baking time left on your bottom layer, add heavy cream and microwave for 2 minutes, then stir very carefully – the heavy cream will splash pretty easily. Continue to microwave in 30-second intervals, carefully stirring between each, until caramels are completely melted.

Stir in 1 cup pecans, then pour the caramel mixture over the bottom brownie layer. Top with remaining batter and carefully spread to cover the caramel mixture; I used a small offset spatula and noticed that the heat of the pan and the caramel layer melted the brownie batter slightly, which helped make it more spreadable. Some of the caramel will peek through; that’s fine. Top with remaining nuts.

Bake for 30 minutes, until top is set. Cool completely before serving.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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