Turtle Brownies

March 2016 282These are without a doubt some of the most popular brownies that I make.  In fact, I ran into a former coworker of my husband’s and she was telling me that she was on a cruise in Alaska a few years ago and just happened to be on a hike with another couple that live in Arkansas.  They got to talking and it turns out they both know me, and love my turtle brownies.  Small world, right?!

I make my own caramel – I think it makes a huge difference.  This caramel recipe makes enough for 2 batches of brownies, but you can also use the extra to make caramel dipped apples, or homemade turtle candy.

I know the photo is of huge brownies, but I actually cut them 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inch pieces for parties.  They’re just so rich and gooey, a little goes a long way!!

Turtle Brownies Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Homemade Caramel Adapted from my mom

2 sticks butter, unsalted

2 1/3 cups light brown sugar, packed

Dash salt

1 cup light corn syrup

1 (14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large saucepan add the first 5 ingredients.  Cook on medium high heat (5-6) until the butter is melted: stir constantly with a wooden spoon.  Once the butter is melted, set a timer for 14 minutes.  Continue to stir constantly with the wooden spoon.  Remove from heat, and add the vanilla – stir.  Set aside.

Brownies

1  cups pecans, roasted and coarsely chopped

2 sticks butter, unsalted

12 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

4 eggs

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 batch of caramel

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.  Set aside.

In a medium pot on medium heat, warm the butter and chocolate until melted – stirring constantly.  Once the butter and chocolate is melted, whisk in the sugar, vanilla, and salt until combined.  Add in the eggs, beating after each addition.  Stir in the flour until incorporated.  Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for another 20 minutes.

In the meantime, add 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream to the 1/2 batch of caramel and place it on a low burner.  Stir in half of the chopped pecans.

Pour the pecan caramel over the brownies.  Spoon remaining brownie batter on top and spread it out.  Dust the top of the brownies with the remaining pecans and chocolate chips.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Let cool in the pan.  Then refrigerate the brownies in the pan overnight, lightly covered.  Cut into small pieces when you’re ready to serve.

*I prefer to keep these in the refrigerator because the caramel oozes at room temperature, but it’s optional.  Either way, be sure to store them in a covered container.

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