As a baker, winter gets pretty hard for me. Not exactly for the normal reasons but when the temperature drops and it’s starting to snow, all I want to do is sit inside and bake and it’s really easy for me to do. Especially when I get the idea for something delicious and classic in flavor. This happened a few weeks ago when I had the craving for something turtle so caramel, chocolate, and pecans. I didn’t want the standard confections but wanted something simple, easy, and fun to whip up. Then I got the craving for brownies and knew this is exactly what I should make. Some caramel turtle brownies.
The first thing I needed to whip up was the caramel sauce so it could cool. I went straight for my favorite recipe that I use and make for a million and one things. This recipe is great to have on hand and is very versatile. I will say there is more than what you may need for the brownies but the recipe is as small as I like to make it. Any smaller and it’s hard to make and high chance for crystalizing, but there’s other things this sauce is good for. Whenever I had extra I’ll use it in my coffee for some sweetness and flavor! Add it to tea, cider, maybe even a chai latte. It’s perfect to have hanging around for some hot drinks this time of year.
200g Granulated Sugar
125g Heavy Whipping Cream
65g Corn Syrup
40g Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp Vanilla
In a medium sauce pot, add the water followed by the corn syrup and sugar.
Place over high heat and cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to caramelize. During this time do not stir or place anything into the pot, at most swirl the pot over the heat.
While sugar is cooking, warm the cream either in a sauce pot or the microwave. Doesn’t need to be super-hot just warm to the touch minimum.
When the sugar has just begun to caramelize and change color, remove from heat and add the butter.
Once all the butter is melted, slowly add the cream while stirring. Mixture will bubble and release a lot of steam so be carefully how fast you add the cream and use protection on your hands if needed. If the mixture starts to thicken and not fully mix go back on medium heat for a minute or so to warm up sugar.
Once cream is added and mixture looks like a smooth caramel sauce, add salt and vanilla and stir in.
Pour mixture into a clean bowl or other container that is heat safe. Try not to scrape pot to avoid any sugar crystals. Cool for an hour.
With the caramel made and cooling, it was time to make some brownies. This is a newer recipe that I have developed. I wanted a very cakey brownie that my mom would like instead of the boxed kind. This is what I have come up with. It is pretty much just like a cake with creaming butter and sugar, add eggs and then flour. The melted chocolate adds a lot of richness and moisture and the texture is a little denser than a standard cake but super decadent.
Of course I wanted to make these turtle flavored so I needed some nuts as well! This recipe is perfect on its own but adding nuts even without the caramel adds a nice crunch and nutty flavor that is just killer with the chocolate cake brownies. I used about 150g rough chopped pecans but definitely use more or less based on preference. I also left them on top to get a nice shot with nuts and caramel for this recipe but you can also mix them into the batter to get them fully dispersed and in every bite. Now, turtles are traditionally pecan but change that out for walnuts, almonds, really any nut you want!
113g Unsalted Butter, soft
265g Granulated Sugar
2 ea. Eggs
85g Chocolate, melted
1 tsp Vanilla
2 tsp Baking Powder
205g All Purpose Flour
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
150g Pecans, rough chopped
Preheat the oven to 350℉.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and salt together until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).
Add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping bowl and making sure everything is fully mixed.
Add the melted chocolate and mix.
In a clean bowl, whisk the baking powder and cocoa powder into the flour.
Add the flour mixture alternating with milk in 3 total additions.
Spread mixture into a greased 9x12-inch pan.
Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
Bake for about 25 minutes until fully baked and top slightly cracks.
Allow to cool before removing and topping with prepared caramel sauce.
That’s really it! Once the brownies are mixed and baked just let them cool a bit before topping with caramel sauce. You could easily bake with the caramel sauce on top but I find it disappears and isn’t as gooey and sticky as I want them to be. Saving the caramel for after the bake allows it to stand out on top and let the world know that these brownies are gooey, nutty, caramel-y, and just perfect for a winter day at home. Have fun with this one!