Tales of a Chocoholic

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          Chocolate has been, and as far as I can see always will be, my favorite thing. You may think this is pretty common, people always say they love chocolate and I don’t doubt them, I just know they don’t have the same relationship with chocolate that I do. Chocolate and I go way back to childhood. My first ever word was “chocolat” (That is how you say it in French by the way, and yes my first word was in French and it is probably the only major influence French Canada has ever had on me) and I used to bang on the cupboard doors demanding “chocolat” until my mother gave me some. Cute or obnoxious, take your pick but you can’t deny that chocolate and I are the kind of old friends that you don’t come across every day.

Therefore it is only natural that when trying to think of what I should bake for my first ever blog post I would choose something extremely chocolaty – aka brownies. However as I have grown older I guess you could say that I have developed a more refined palate and I enjoy mixing and matching flavors. This isn’t to say chocolate isn’t still number one in my books but I often like to pair it with other food items in my top 10 to kick things up. This is where caramel comes into play and out of this came the genius idea of chocolate caramel brownies. Honestly, what could be better than that? Not much I tell you.

They weren’t the easiest things to make, but they were pretty darn delicious I would say – and so would my roommates who ate most of them. I forgot to grease the pan so we literally “dug” into these but they were completely satisfying nonetheless, however for a neater presentation I would seriously recommend buttering the pan.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The result of 4 hungry college girls and brownies stuck to a pan

I also chose to add the pecans and chocolate chips on top, because I like the idea of it being like a turtle bar, but it’s totally up to you. Generally I am opposed to nuts in brownies but something about the addition of caramel led me to try it. I would also recommend adding a tablespoon of water to the batter if it is too lumpy, the batter should be smooth otherwise it won’t cook evenly. This may also mean you should increase the baking time by about 5 minutes.

Recipe:  Chocolate Caramel Brownies

Ingredients
1 cup of unsalted butter
12 oz. of chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 ½ cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 ¼ cup of flour
½ a teaspoon of salt
1 ½ cups of chopped pecans
A large handful of semisweet chocolate chips (to sprinkle on top)
14 oz. of caramel candies unwrapped
1/3 a cup of heavy cream

Directions

Preheat the over to 350 F. Line a 9×13 in. pan with parchment paper and grease well. Melt the chocolate and butter on a double broiler, stirring occasionally. You could also microwave on a low heat for short periods of time and stir occasionally as well. Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Next stir in the flour and salt until they are just combined. Pour about half of this batter into your pan and even out the surface. Bake for 20 minutes and remove pan from oven and let cool.

While cooling, melt the caramels and cream together in a pot over a low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture has melted completely and is smooth. Stir in half of the pecans and remove from heat. Pour the entire mixture over the bottom half of the brownies, making sure it is completely spread out before pouring the other half of the brownie batter over top of the caramel. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and the other half of the pecans overtop of the batter before baking for another 20 minutes. When top layer feels firm remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from the pan. Slice the brownies into desired shape and enjoy!

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