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Caramel filled brownies

What a great Valentine’s day treat. I cut these into heart shapes and served with ice cream. I put a little more batter on the bottom layer. I was a little worried the bottom layer would overcook and the top might be underdone, but everything turned out great. Chilling is a must, but don’t serve these cold. Let them sit out until they reach room temperature. I added some salt into the caramel layer and they tasted really delicious. I made 1/2 of the recipe, of course.

Caramel Filled Brownies (Cookie Madness)

Ingredients:

1 cup whole pecans (more or less, RR uses 1 ½ cups)
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter (8 oz)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14 oz) bag of caramels
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or more if you like)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pecans on a cookie sheet and toast for 7-9 minutes or until aromatic. Let cool. When cool, chop.

Meanwhile, line a 13×9 inch pan with Release foil or parchment paper. You could also just line with foil and spray the foil. Make sure to spray the sides so the caramel won’t stick to the sides.

Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and repeat until smooth. Let cool for about 5 minutes. While chocolate cools, in a separate bowl beat sugar and eggs on high speed of an electric mixer for 3 entire minutes. Beat in vanilla. Stir chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Using a mixing spoon or wire whisk, stir in flour and salt. Pour about half of this batter into the lined pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Cool for 20 minutes. While first layer cools, prepare filling.

Unwrap caramels and put them in a saucepan with the 1/3 cup of cream. Heat on medium low, stirring often, until caramels are melted. Stir about half of the chopped pecans into the caramel. Pour the caramel mixture over the brownie layer.

Spread the remaining brownie mix over the caramel filling. It is kind of tricky, so do your best, but don’t worry about covering all the caramel. Scatter chocolate chips and remaining pecans over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for another 20 minutes or until the top batter appears set but not dry. Allow brownies to cool completely (this should take a few hours). I like to cool them and then chill them because it makes slicing easier.

Lift brownies from pan and place on a big cutting board. Slice into whatever size you feel like.

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