As much as I love all things sweet, I have to admit that I’m not that into candy. Shocker. I know. It’s not that candy is bad or gross, it’s just that there’s only so much sugar and fat that my body can take. And I chose to save those calories for a piece of cake rather than a candy bar. But, Mr. Crafting Foodie LOVES candy. And his favorite candy bar is Snickers. I was thinking of him when I made these Sweet and Salty Caramel Brownies. Since brownies aren’t necessarily high on his list of favorites, I thought I’d make them more enticing by making a Snickers version of brownies.
These Sweet and Salty Caramel Brownies start with my favorite brownie base. The brownies are made with items that you probably already have in your pantry. They are rich, dense, and so chocolatey – just the way I like my brownies.
Next comes a layer of homemade salted caramel. I added chopped roasted, salted peanuts to the caramel in these Sweet and Salty Caramel Brownies for some texture and crunch. And let’s be honest, if I’m making a Snickers version of brownies, then there’s no way I can leave out the peanuts.
And to reinforce the candy-bar-like nature of these Sweet and Salty Caramel Brownies, I added a layer of ganache on top of the salted caramel. Was it necessary? No. But since I made the ganache with a dark chocolate, it gives the brownies a depth of flavor without adding a ton of sweetness. Plus, I think ganache makes everything better 🙂
I’m positive I’ll be making these brownies often, but I NEED to make these around Halloween. Why? Well, because every Halloween the kids complain that all of their Snickers mysteriously disappear out of their candy baskets. They have no idea where they disappear to, but I know exactly where they are: in their daddy’s tummy. If the kids only saw the pile of wrappers in the garbage can in the study. So, to save the kids’ Snickers, I’ll be making a pan or two of these Sweet and Salty Brownies. Hopefully that’ll keep those sneaky Snickers candies from mysteriously disappearing 😉
- For the Brownies:
- 20 tbs (or 2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa (I used Dutch process, but natural works just as well)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, cold
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- For the Salted Caramel:
- 1 cups granulated sugar
- 6 tbs unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup plus 4 tbs heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup chopped, salted, roasted peanuts
- For the Ganache:
- 12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
- 1 cup plus 3 tbs heavy cream
- In a heavy bottomed-saucepan, add the sugar.
- Allow the sugar to cook over medium heat, until it turns a dark, amber.
- Remove the sugar from the heat and add the butter and allow it to melt.
- Then add the cream. It will bubble, so add it carefully.
- Stir in the salt.
- Transfer the caramel to a separate container and allow it to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Cut two long strips of parchment paper or foil. Use the strips to line a 9×13 inch pan. (The parchment should cover the bottom of the pan and hang over each side.)
- Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Melt the ingredients together in the microwave. Heat the items 30 seconds at a time, stopping and stirring after each 30 interval in the microwave. Once all of the ingredients have melted, remove the bowl from the microwave. Set it aside briefly until it’s warm and no longer hot.
- Using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula stir in the vanilla.
- Add the eggs in one at a time. Stir well after the addition of each egg.
- Continue to stir vigorously until the mixture is shiny and thick.
- Add the flour. Mix until the flour is well combined.
- Then vigorously mix the batter one additional time for about a minute or two.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out with moist crumbs.
- Cool completely in the pan.
- Mix the salted caramel and the chopped peanuts.
- Once the brownies are completely cool, pour the caramel mixture over the brownies.
- Place the caramel covered brownies in the fridge to chill while making the ganache.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
- In pot, heat the cream until it’s scalding (just about to boil).
- Pour the cream over the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to sit for a minute or two.
- Using a spatula, mix the chocolate and cream until combined. It will be smooth and shiny when completely combined.
- Pour the ganache over the caramel.
- Chill in the fridge for a few hours.
- Once the ganache is set, drizzle with additional caramel.
- Cut into squares.
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