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September 12, 2011

Fudgy Peanut Butter Caramel Brownies

By: Brandon Nichols

  Hello fellow food aficionados! Over the past couple of weeks Tropical Storms “I” through “L” have dumped buckets of rain on the area, leaving many to scramble for cover. I don’t know about you but I love rainy days. To me, rainy days are the perfect baking weather! Mostly, because no one wants to step outside. Also, rainy days can be a little dreary, so we all need a little pick me up!

Ever since I was a kid, my favorite pick me up has been a brownie. The warm, fudgy goodness of a fresh brownie is unparalleled! Now, there are a lot of brownie variations out there and below is my personal favorite. I belong to the school of thought that the chocolate in brownies should not be overwhelmed by the other ingredients; subtle flavoring makes for a superb brownie.

This recipe was adapted from the Boudin Bakery Brownie recipe found in the LA Times Food section. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Try it and tell me what you think!  I would love to hear from you and would also love to know what your favorite brownie recipe is.

Ingredients:
2 sticks of butter
8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
5 eggs
21 ounces of sugar (3 cups)
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
6.38 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (1 ½ cups)
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
14 ounces of caramel candy (I used Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels)
1/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cups of crunchy all-natural peanut butter (feel free to use more or less depending on your preference!)

Directions:
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with wax paper. You can butter the pan; however, wax paper makes for much easier clean up! 
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  3. In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together eggs, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the melted chocolate, then the salt and flour just until combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips 
  4. Spread about half of the mixture into the pan. 
  5. To make the caramel filling, combine the caramel candies and cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth.  Stir in peanut butter.  Immediately spread the caramel mixture over the bottom brownie layer.  Pour the remaining brownie batter over the caramel layer, taking care to pour and spread it evenly otherwise it will be difficult to spread evenly over the caramel layer. 
  6. Bake in the center of the oven until puffed and almost set, about 45 minutes. Remove and let cool.


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