Salted Caramel Brownies

Okay, before we get down to the recipe promised above, let’s talk HAMILTON!   (For those of you just joining the blog, that is the name of James’ current show, playing at the Public Theater.)    Now, I don’t think it’s appropriate to share theater reviews on a baking blog, (mostly just because Hamilton has not  officially opened,) so this is not me doing that.  But just allow me to say that this was just about the most life-changing show I’ve ever seen.  (And I’m more cynical than Ben Brantley, John Simon and Michael Riedel all rolled into one.  For those of you unfamiliar with Michael Riedel, check out his latest column here.  MeOW!)

And, oh, while I’m at it, check out the Wall Street Journal on Hamilton here and this New Yorker article here. Read ’em and weep, friends, because the whole run is sold out.  But maybe Michael Riedel is right and you’ll be able to catch the show on Broadway soon!

But enough not reviewing Hamilton — there’s a Salted Caramel Brownie recipe to share.

James managed to send me the following in the midst of tech rehearsals, so I’ll just share his story in its entirety:

“My friend Harriet Weil, a production manager, who I first met working at the Shakespeare Theatre in DC, always finds time to send brownies to my tech rehearsals when she knows I am too busy to bake. This year, she sent up two kinds:  Salted Caramel Brownies and Cream Cheese Brownies. There was a line of cast and crew at my tech table on our break. They were all gone so fast that I could not even get  one photo!  I decided to try Harriet’s recipe the next week for our first Wine and Unwind, and the results were wonderful. Here is the recipe and a photo of my attempt at the Salted Caramel Brownies”:

The recipe called for a brownie mix. Below is a variation of my fudgy brownie recipe, but any brownie recipe should work.

Ingredients:

1½ cups (3 sticks) butter
12 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3¾ cups sugar
6 large eggs
1½ cups all-purpose flour
20 caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons milk
Sea Salt — flaky type, like Maldon, is most desirable
Caramel filled chocolate candies, like Dove. (Optional. I added this to the recipe.)

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan using oil or non-stick spray

2.  Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat.  Remove from heat and whisk in sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Stir in flour until it is is just blended.  (Note, if you use a brownie mix, just make the mix according to the package directions and ignore this step.)

3.  Spread half the batter into prepared oiled pan.  Add caramel filled chocolate candies on top of batter. Use as many or as few as you desire.   Spread remaining half of the batter on top of the candies.

4.  Caramel sauce:  Place 20 unwrapped caramels and milk in a microsafe bowl and heat on high for 1 minute.  If the caramels are still stiff,  heat for an additional 20-30 seconds until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Spread caramel sauce over brownie batter and swirl using a butter knife.

5.  You may add a little sea salt on top before baking. Bake about 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick plunged into the center comes out clean.   Sprinkle sea salt on top as soon as they come out of the oven for an additional salty/sweet taste.

6.  Cool completely before attempting to cut into squares.

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