Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Brownie Points!

When we were kids, my step mom, Olivia, used to make my brother and me caramel brownies. She didn't make them very often and I remember them being really good (they were my brother's favorite) but I thought maybe it was a difficult recipe so they were only made for special occasions. I was wrong! She shared the recipe with me and they could not be simpler to make. I took the liberty to tweak things here and there (that's what I do) because the amounts were a little vague and I like to be specific when it comes to baking. Specific amounts in baking lead to consistent results, am I right? Here we go!

Pillsbury® recently sent me their new seasonal line of cake and cookie mixes just in time for holiday baking. I received Chocolate Peppermint Premium Cookie Mix, Traditional Sugar Premium Cookie Mix, Dark Chocolate Premium Cake Mix as well as Peppermint Frosting and Funfetti Frostings in Rudolph Red and Garland Green. My step mom's recipe for caramel brownies called for German Chocolate cake mix, but I opted for the Dark Chocolate Cake mix for these rich and gooey brownies. To learn more about these products, visit Pillsbury on Facebook, and Pillsbury on Pinterest

Dark Chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips, gooey caramel, crunchy pecans. You know these were good...and decadent! These brownies are for sharing. After making these and being left with an entire pan of brownies, I now understand why my step mom only made these about 1-2 times a year. They are dangerous and so much better than I remembered. I'm typically a "plain jane" brownie person and don't like anything but cocoa in my brownies but these are excellent. Thanks for the recipe and the trip down memory lane Olivia :-) I hope you'll seek out these new Pillsbury® products and make these brownies!

Dark Chocolate Caramel Nut Brownies 
adapted from my step mom, Olivia Luna

  • 14-16 oz. package caramels (50-60 caramels)
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1- 15.25 oz. box Pillsbury Dark Chocolate Premium Cake Mix
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and line it with a sheet of parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges. Spray the paper once again with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the caramels and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. Stir occasionally over medium heat until the caramels melt and the mixture becomes smooth. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the brownie batter. 

In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, melted butter, vanilla extract and the remaining evaporated milk. Mix until well combined. 

Press half of the brownie batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 6 minutes. 

Remove the pan from the oven and gently and evenly drizzle the caramel mixture over brownie base. Evenly distribute the chocolate chips and the chopped pecans over the caramel. Crumble the remaining brownie batter evenly over the nuts and chocolate and return back to the oven. 

Bake for an additional 20-22 minutes. It will be hard to tell when it's done because the brownies will be really gooey in the center and don't firm up until they have cooled completely, but don't bake any longer than the recommended time. 

Cool completely until the brownies have reached room temperature. Using the handles of the overlapping parchment paper, lift the brownies out of the pan. Cut the brownies into squares. Store in an airtight container. 

I was provided with product samples and compensation by Pillsbury, though the opinions I express here are my own.

©/® The J.M. Smucker Company. Pillsbury is a trademark of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license.


Olivia said...

Aww, thank you Monica for making the caramel brownies for your blog site! LOL! Uh, the reason I wouldn't make them so often is because they were so rich (but tasty nonetheless)and George would say; "that's too much sweet stuff for kids"! Ha, little did he know that one of the "kids" would grow up and have her very own Lick the Bowl Good cookbook and blog site! Congratulations again on your accomplishments! I love you! Olivia

My Recent Favorite Books said...

These look so good! Im going to make them soon!

Terry said...

Love the sweet response from your stepmom!

Pink Little Cake said...

OMG, these look so good!! I love the caramel!

Anonymous said...

Carmel, Pecans, and Chocolate....the world's greatest combo! These brownies look absolutely devine! They are on the to-do list for today! Thank you for such a beautiful and easy recipe!

vanillasugarblog said...

I can't remember the last time I bought a cake mix.
I just might have to for these.
I was just looking at salted caramel brownies online last night, so this must be a sign!

AngAK said...

such a wonderful combination. and I always have a box or 2 of mix at the cabin for easy treats.

one thing you might want to fix---in the first paragraph it's "my brother and me"---sorry, I couldn't help it, and if I was an author, I'd want to fix it.

ImWhisper said...

Is it wrong that I licked the screen while looking at your picture of the caramel drizzling?!
On my list of yummies to try!

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