In Seattle, we're lucky enough to have one of the best chocolatiers, Fran's Chocolates. My daughter, Kelly and I love the Salt/Caramel Chocolates and can literally eat a whole box without blinking. I thought, "wouldn't it be great to recreate that wonderful taste in a brownie?" So, I began this morning with a purpose and with great success, I must add, to have come up with a brownie that will tickle the socks (and anything else you may desire) off your Valentine!
Sweet, Salty Caramel Brownie
In a small saucepan, combine 1 bag (14 oz) of Kraft's caramels and 1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk. Heat over low heat, stirring intermittently to prevent scorching, until completely melted. Set aside.
In the mixing bowl of your KitchenAid, combine 1 lb. (4 sticks) of unsalted butter, and 1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate chips. and 6 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. Place over a large saucepan with simmering water (you're creating a double-boiler) and melt the butter and chocolate. When melted, place it back on
the KitchenAid and add 6 large eggs, one at time, mixing well after each addition.
Add: 2 cups Sugar
2 T. vanilla
1 T. espresso (optional, but really enhances the chocolate)
1/4 tsp. Butternut flavoring (optional)
Then, sift: 1 cup all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
Stir into the chocolate mixture.
Finally, mix 12 ounces of Semi-Sweet chocolate pieces with 1/4 cup all purpose flour and add to the mixture.
Pour into a prepared pan (butter a 12 x 17-inch sheet pan, add parchment on top and butter the parchment). Place dollops of the melted caramel on top and use a knife to swirl it through the batter.
Finally, sprinkle the top with 2 T. Fleur de sel (Coarse Sea Salt) or more depending on taste.
Bake in a preheated 350F-degree oven for 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and rap it against the counter to release any air bubbles. Return the pan to the oven for 10 minutes more. Don't overbake.
For that special Valentine Dessert, I've added a scoop of Purely Decadent Pomegranate Chip, (a really good Vanilla would be good too) and drizzled warm caramel on top. Yum!
Or, keep it simple. For a special lunch box surprise, wrap up the brownie and write a little note to your loved one. These brownies really have the combination I was craving--Sweet, Salty Caramel & Chocolate. Enjoy!