decadent caramel-fudge brownies

I’ve been looking online for Byerly’s killer brownie recipe forever. They are divine. Not having any luck, I stumbled across this recipe. With caramel, semisweet chocolate chunks, cocoa powder, pecans, butter, eggs and sugar, it sounded like a winner. And, each new dessert I bake in my test kitchen should add experience and help me improve my “less than average” baking repertoire, right? As a side note, I will say that parchment paper is a saving grace for baked goods.

I also have to say, I was pretty impressed with this one. Not sure I should have made two batches (one, a practice round for home, and two, the real deal.) And, I’m not sure that my 6 week abs video will come through for me now. I guess instead it may just take 7 weeks, especially after nibbling on a few of these…anyways…

I served this for a staff appreciation luncheon at my kids’ school. I cut them into bite-size pieces and placed them in small white paper cups, which seemed to work well (being they’re so rich), and they were gone when I picked up my dishes from school. Hopefully, that was a good sign.

Enjoy.

Outrageous Caramel-Fudge Brownies
adapted from “Chocolate Lovers’ Cookbook” by the Twin Cities Home Economists in Business (2008)

Makes 2 dozen brownies.

1 package (14 ounces) caramels
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package (11 1/2 or 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks, divided use
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, divided use
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

To prepare oven, baking pan: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 12-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan with shortening or spray with cooking spray. (I lined mine with parchment paper with extra on the ends so I could lift the brownies out to cut them.)

To melt caramels: In 3-quart sauce-pan, heat caramels and milk over low heat, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted and smooth.

To make batter: In 2-quart sauce-pan, melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, vanilla and eggs until well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa and salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks and 1 cup pecans.

To bake brownies: Spread batter evenly in pan. Gently and evenly drizzle melted caramel over batter. (Note: Prevent caramel from forming large pockets or reaching bottom of bars. However, caramel can cover entire surface of batter.) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set.

To finish brownies: Heat remaining chocolate chunks and oil in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Drizzle over warm brownies. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pecans. Press in lightly. Cool for 20 minutes. Refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours or until chocolate is set. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. If refrigerated longer, let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

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