Salted Caramel Brownies

20171108_155227When one door closes another one opens, yet instead of focusing on the closed door, I ended up developing these delicious brownies. The journey began after a long weekend of performances for my daughter at our church’s annual festival, in which I had no time left to shop for food like I normally would. I did manage to squeeze in some time to brainstorm recipes I planned on developing for Thanksgiving, the first of which was to be a lighter & more portable spin on monkey bread. I knew I already had all the ingredients on hand, including the all important yeast.

20171108_155319Well fast forward a few days and I was ready to make monkey bread. I grabbed all my ingredients from the pantry, including the all important yeast, only to discover it had expired ages ago. Any other day I would have just put everything back and started over once I picked up some fresh yeast from the store. The reason I couldn’t do that this time was because my oldest daughter was so excited to bake something I just couldn’t say no.

IMG_20171108_1I quickly searched the pantry for ideas but all the recipes I had begun developing all required ingredients I had yet to purchase so I couldn’t start those either. I spotted some cocoa powder and immediately thought about brownies. I decided that brownies would be quick and easy for her to make and something I had everything on hand for. As an added bonus to my quick thinking, I could easily dress up the brownie base my daughter helped make with caramel, drizzled chocolate, and sea salt, making them decadent enough to share here with all of you. Crisis officially diverted!

20171108_155342So if you need a last-minute, crowd-pleasing dessert or something fun amd easy to make with your kids, these rich layered caramel brownies dusted in flakes of sea salt will not disappoint!

Salted Caramel Brownies

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 3.4 ounces (¾ cup) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup chopped Walnuts; toasted

Topping Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup (4 tbsp.) Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Evaporated Fat-Free Milk
  • ¼ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate; coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat an 8 x 8 inch metal pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. To prepare brownies, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine the 6 tbsp. melted butter, eggs, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, stirring well to combine. Gently stir in the walnuts until just combined.
  3. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool brownies completely in pan on a wire rack.
  4. Once brownies have cooled completely, prepare the topping. In a small saucepan, melt 4 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add ¼ cup brown sugar and milk; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and Confectioners’ sugar. Stir with a whisk until mixture is smooth. Working quickly, spread caramel mixture over brownies, spreading evenly to coat all areas. Let stand 20 minutes or until caramel has set.
  5. Once caramel has set, place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 1 minute, or until melted, stirring every 20 seconds. Once melted stir just until chocolate is smooth then drizzle over caramel topping. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Let stand until chocolate sets before cutting into squares.

 

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MAUREEN CALLAHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

 

 

 

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Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

20170817_163227Next week my oldest daughter starts Pre-K and I will have to leave her side for the first time. I’m not sure who this will be harder on but I’m going to guess it will be me. It has been bittersweet buying her school supplies, uniforms, and picking out a backpack and lunchbox. With all of the school planning going on I thought why not offer an easy to make & packable dessert for kid’s to take in their lunchbox…like a brownie.

20170817_163057Since my daughter likes only a little bit of chocolate I elected to make blondies with peanut butter cups to provide the hint of chocolate she craves without going overboard (not to mention chocolate doesn’t hold up well in the Florida summer heat). I also added some peanut butter chips to the batter to give these blondies a more pronounced peanut butter flavor.

20170817_161115For this recipe I used the mini unwrapped milk chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s. They come in both milk or dark chocolate. I prefer the dark chocolate variety, but I know kids often prefer milk chocolate, so to please a wider audience I went with milk chocolate. Don’t be afraid to experiment with dark chocolate if you know everyone you share these with will enjoy the stronger flavor.

It really doesn’t matter if you opt to make these for a school lunch or an adult indulgence, if you love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter, you will surely love these peanut butter cup blondies!

 

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

 

Ingredients:

  • 5.6 ounces (1 ¼ cups) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1/3 cup Creamy Peanut Butter (preferably natural)
  • ¼ cup (4 tbsp.) Unsalted Butter; melted & cooled slightly
  • 2 tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 large Eggs; lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup Peanut Butter Baking Chips
  • Mini Unwrapped Peanut Butter Cups (about 30)

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir well with a whisk.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the peanut butter, butter, milk, vanilla, and eggs. Stir well. Add the peanut butter mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in the peanut butter chips.
  4. Scrape batter evenly into prepared baking pan. Arrange peanut butter cups over batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan on a wire rack before serving.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MAUREEN CALLAHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Fudge-Almond Brownie Tart

3If you are a chocoholic, it is likely that you often search for quick and easy chocolate fixes beyond the candy bar. Anyone with a weakness to chocolate knows it is really hard to stop at just one piece of chocolate, hence the search for more substance. This search usually includes chocolate infused into cakes, cookies, or brownies. If you easily tire from the same old box chocolate cake or bakery cookies, then this weakness can become a very big problem. Therefore, I bring you the Fudge-Almond Brownie Tart.

1I simply adore this brownie tart for several reasons. The main reason is its rich, intense chocolate flavor that makes your indulgent side squeal with delight. The other reason is how simple it is to put together. This tart looks elegant and time-consuming but it is really simple and comes together quickly. Another plus is the richness keeps you from eating way too much. Sure it clocks in at way more calories and fat then most recipes I like to prepare but it is meant to be an indulgent treat. It is not something you keep around all the time to munch on but it serves great for when chocolate cravings peak and you need to keep them in check with something more satisfying. Even though the numbers of this appear very high, I guarantee when the chocolate cravings hit, you will consume way more calories and fat if you munch on a chocolate bar versus this tart. One slice will easily satisfy any and all chocolate/dessert cravings, whereas it will take several pieces of chocolate to get the same result. I assure you, several pieces of chocolate will easily turn into way more calories and fat (coming from experience).

2Now if you are not stressing out on a diet or are serving this for guests I suggest pairing it with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. It adds just an extra bit of indulgence and the smooth texture complements the richness and crunch of the tart. The tart will serve up to 10 guests. If you need to accommodate a larger crowd the recipe can easily be doubled. Enjoy!!!

Fudge-Almond Brownie Tart

Ingredients:

  • Cooking Spray
  • ½ cup Sliced Almonds; toasted
  • 4 oz. Dark Chocolate Baking Chips (such as Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 2.25 oz. All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tbsp. Dutch Processed Cocoa; sifted
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 2 Eggs (large)
  • 6 tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Preparation:

  1. Move oven rack to lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray. Arrange the sliced almonds evenly in the bottom of the greased pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter together. Microwave approximately 30 to 60 seconds, stirring at 15 second intervals, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl add the flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir mixture with a whisk until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs. Mix with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is pale and thick (approximately 2 minutes). Continue beating on medium speed and gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar dissolves (approximately 2 minutes). On low speed add the corn syrup and vanilla, beating until combined. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until well blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter in the prepared pan, spreading evenly over the sliced almonds. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the tart comes out with a few crumbs. Cool the tart in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert tart onto a serving platter and enjoy! Can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days if not serving immediately.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Wedge)

Fudge Almond Brownie Tart NutritionLabel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weight Watchers: 10 Smart Points, 7 Points Plus, or 5 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: CAROLE WALTER
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016