It has taken considerably longer to get back into some sort of baking/blogging routine than I had expected. My life will still be in a bit of upheaval for the next several months, so bear with me!
The brownies for this week's TWD were supposed to have peppermint patty chunks in them, but there isn't a truly organic version (and the ones that are close are insanely expensive). I was planning on using chopped mint chocolate, but the town that I am temporarily in is very small, and there was none to be had! So I decided on adding pools of salted butter caramel. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with salted butter caramel.
It was a bit of an experiment, and though they were quite tasty, they weren't terribly attractive... I think I will play around with the way the caramel is incorporated. If I had had more time to make them I would have dropped spoonfuls of the warm caramel onto parchment, frozen them, and pressed them into the brownie batter so that it wouldn't be visible in the final product. I may also try a sturdier brownie recipe. I liked that this one was thin and fudgey, but it was rather flimsy and prone to falling apart. I'll let you know if I try this one again...
The brownie was chocolatey, not too sweet and nice and fudgey. I was pleased that the pools of caramel stayed soft and pliable even after 30 minutes in the oven, and the rich and creamy flavor was a wonderful contrast to the deep chocolate.
I baked these brownies for a family lunch, and they were quite a hit. Taste-wise, there really aren't any changes necessary, my only problems were more aesthetic in nature.
The Brrr-ownies were chosen by Karen of Welcome to our Crazy Blessed Life. The recipe for them (including the peppermint patties) is on her blog.
Let me add an apology for the less-than-stellar photos... We can't win them all...
Salted Butter Caramel
(makes more than you'll need for these brownies)
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook sugar and salt, stirring frequently, until completely fluid. Add butter, stirring constantly - careful here, it will spit and boil furiously. Just keep stirring. Add cream and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour immediately into heat-proof jar or bowl.
To finish the brownies like I made them, drop about a tablespoon of caramel into pan of brownie batter - portioning it so that there will be a pool in the center of each slice. (I cut mine into 9 pieces, so I had 9 pools). Bake as directed in brownie recipe.