Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Home Cook: Chocolate Carmel Pecan Brownies

I grew up in a home with a sweet tooth. On any given night the typical after dinner conversation sounded something like this:

That was pretty good, thanks for we have anything for dessert?

On Saturdays and Sundays the answer needed to be, "YES". We grew up on rhubarb crunch, pistachio dessert, mom's oreo caramel ice cream concoction and a wide variety of cookies. There were rice krispie bars, chocolate pies, box brownies and sweet cheese danishes from the bakery.

One of the first things I missed after leaving for college was all that sugar. It's hard to justify a big pan of anything for you, your roommate and her boyfriend. Three people can't eat a 9x13 pan of sweets and look each other in the eye the next day...though we did try on occasion. The situation became even more dire when I started living solo. It's just not much fun when you *have* to finish something before it gets stale.

Happily the problem solved itself when I began working for the library. I know I've mentioned that there were many days when their tendency to celebrate any little thing kept me well fed, but it wasn't a one way street. I happily took them treats when ever I had a rogue craving for something sweet. One of the first things I took were these brownies...I like to think it was one of the things that made me so popular around the office. Who doesn't like the girl who brings rich, gooey goodies?

And these brownies? Certainly are crowd pleasers. I still take them to work, though these days it's to an office full of guys, which is kind of one complains about their thighs.

Chocolate Carmel Pecan Brownies
adapted from fbnr Magazine March 2001

1-14oz pkg Caramels, wrappers removed
2/3 cup Evaporated Milk, divided (1/3 c & 1/3 c)
1-18.25oz German Chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup Butter, melted
3oz semisweet chocolate chopped, pieces or chips
3oz dark chocolate chopped, pieces or chips
1 cup Pecans, toasted, roughly chopped & divided
Sea Salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To toast pecans: Place pecans on a baking sheet, toast for 8-10 minutes or until nuts are golden and fragrant. Stir half way through. Set aside to cool, then chop.

Caramel Filling: Place caramels & 1/3 cup evaporated milk in a medium sauce pan over low heat until smooth, stirring occasionally.

For cake mix: In a medium bowl mix together cake mix, butter & 1/3 cup evaporated milk until well blended.

Assembly: In a greased 9x13x2" glass pan, press half of the cake mix using a buttered hands or spatula. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven. Spoon on caramel and sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans and chocolate pieces. Drop on remaining cake mix in spoon fulls sprinkling top with remaining pecans and sea salt if desired.

Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting, serve warm or cooled completely.

1 comment:

Not Jenny said...

Blogger ate half of my first comment. Here is what I meant to say:

Those look really good and I think I need to try them really soon. (And then go for a run right afterward)