3/31/14

brownies with caramel & peanut butter

So how's your spring going so far?
Oh mine?
Well here on the cape we've had one storm that gave us a few inches of snow, then we had a blizzard.
Yeah a blizzard just a few days ago.  Did we lose power?  Of course we did.
Actually we lost power during the blizzard and after because the blizzard had a baby twin called wind-storm that wanted to wreak even more havoc on the cape.
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This is the satellite image of the blizzard.  Look at the size of that eye!
Had this blizzard moved just a hair more to the west we would have been in trouble.
This was a very powerful storm and had severe wind.
(photo credit NECN--Matt Noyes meteorologist).

We haven't seen the sun in days, just snow, rain, sleet and hail.
Good times.
I truly think spring is not coming, that we are just going to jump right into summer--which is fine by me, I need, no, I would love to have 80 degrees and sunny at any moment now.
How long has our winter been? Five months now?
November, December, January, February, March, ....
Want to see my heating bills?  lol
As I type this post,  we are still having our wind storm; but before that we had a massive rain storm that gave us 3 inches of rain. Other areas of Massachusetts got more rain. Flooding is a big problem here on the cape, thankfully we don't live near the ocean anymore.  When we did, our basement would fill up
with sea water.  More good times.  I miss the old place, but I don't.
It's truly been a long winter...I miss the sun--badly.
Brownies help, they do.
I've never made a brownie with peanut butter and caramel (I know shocker), but was curious to see if peanut butter and caramel would go together?
No, I tease, I wanted to clean out the cupboards and use stuff up, and the best way is to make brownies and stuff em full of stuff.
The end.
p.s. know any sun dances? ;-)
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Brownies make everything better don't they?
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Use about 2/3 of the brownie batter for the bottom.
Then put about six 2-inch round'ish dollups of peanut throughout the top of brownie batter.
Then I put a caramel candy on top of each peanut butter dollup.
A handful of bittersweet chocolate on top, optional.
Then cover with remaining 1/3 brownie batter over the peanut butter dollups.
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brownies with peanut butter & caramel
print recipe

14 TB butter, plus 1 TB more for greasing pan
1 cup high-quality bittersweet chocolate chips
¾ cup sugar
¾ ts sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
2 eggs, room temp, beaten well
about 6 dollups of peanut butter (maybe ¾ cup?)
9-12 caramel candies, unwrapped (salted caramels even better!)
a handful of bittersweet chocolate chips, optional

extra sea salt for the tops of the brownies before baking

cook notes:
the benefits of using high-quality chocolate really make these brownies.
Choose a chocolate like Ghirahdelli, Valrhona, Scharffen Berger, etc… that has a high cocoa count (50-80% is perfect).  I use Ghirahdelli chips.
The sprinkling of the sea salt on top of the brownies is not mandatory and will not make the brownies “salty”; it is meant to enhance the flavor of the chocolates in the batter.  This is a deep chocolate tasting brownie and they need a little more salt to truly bring out the chocolate flavor.
When you melt the butter and chocolate, please use a nice low flame so the melting goes smoothly and the chocolate doesn’t get too hot, which will make it taste bitter/burnt.  And let this liquid mixture cool a bit before adding to the egg mixture.

Preheat oven to 350°.
Butter up well an 8 x 8 baking pan; set pan aside.
Melt the butter and chocolate chips together in a small saucepan over LOW heat, stirring constantly. When melted take off heat, set aside to cool a bit.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar, beat well, add in the vanilla extract, and mix.
When the melted chocolate has cooled down a bit (warm ok) slowly add it in to the egg mixture, a little bit at first, mix really well, then more as you go along.
Next dump the flour right on top of the mixture, then sprinkle on the sea salt.
Using a spatula mix until JUST combined, lumps are ok!
Pour 2/3 of batter into greased baking pan.
Place down about 6 separate 2-inch sized dollups of peanut butter on top of brownie batter, making sure not to place them on or near the edges (it will seep out).
No need to spread out the peanut butter, it will melt a bit during baking.
Then place a caramel candy pieces on top of the peanut butter dollup.  I used about six pieces of caramel.  You can use more.
Then sprinkle a handful of bittersweet chocolate chips on top, optional.
Use remaining 1/3 brownie batter, carefully place on top, and if necessary using wet fingers gently move batter around to evenly coat.  There isn’t enough batter to cover entire top, this is fine, just cover up the areas that have the peanut butter dollops.
Sprinkle top of batter with just a little bit of sea salt.
Bake for 30-38 minutes. Mine were done at the 35-minute mark.
I don’t like gooey brownies, so if you want really gooey, then bake for about 30-32 minutes.
After baking, they take a while to firm up, so if you try to remove them from the pan they will break apart.  Very very gooey when hot from the oven!
These really need to cool down since the caramel will be very hot.
Makes 9 brownies.


13 comments:

  1. You guys are getting pounded w cold weather & we got no rain this year. :(
    But these brownies are perfect! Been craving them lately. You're a genius! xx

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  2. Very necessary with the terrible weather! <3 pb and chocolate!!

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  3. So, you made these just for me, right?! Seems that way based on these fabulous flavors!

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  4. Brownies definitely make everything better, especially when peanut butter AND caramel are involved. Perfection.

    Hang in there with this nasty weather! I'm still hoping for all the snow here to melt.

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  5. it's like my two favorite things... in a brownie! of course I would love these :) the sun today feels so nice, I hope it stays!!

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  6. Glad you stayed safe during your stormy weather! These brownies have everything I love and topping them with sea salt takes them to over the top amazing. What's new - all of your baked goods leave me drooling. Nicely done Dawn.

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  7. These look soooo delicious! Looks like you added some great ingredients :) YUM!!!

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  8. Wait a minute! It's spring????? Why bake these at 325? I'm just curious since you are such a knowledgeable baker. I rarely bake below 350. Pb and caramel is such an unexpected yet delicious combo.

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  9. Oh, my mouth is watering. Your weather is crazy, but I recall that's what makes character, if you live in the Northeast.You could live out here in the Rockies where we can golf one day and ski the next. And yes. We have spare bedrooms! Hope the daffodils start blooming soon.

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  10. i like lots of surprises in my brownies but, ironically, i hate them in my everyday life. :)

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  11. Making brownies is a pretty good sun dance, I'd say. No snow here, thank goodness, but we had a substantial hail story earlier today. That's a nasty looking storm! More brownies needed. ;-)

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  12. Oh my! These are some great lookin brownies. Yes, our spring weather has just been awful! I need sweets...lol.

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  13. I hope old man winter leaves you alone soon! Oh and the brownies......

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