Friday, November 14, 2014

Caramel kiss brownies

It feels like it has been forever since our last blog swap. We have a new host this year, so thank you to Ashley of Cheese Curd in Paradise for organizing this month's event. I was thrilled when I was assigned Joelen's blog, What's Cookin, Chicago? I have had the pleasure of meeting Joelen twice when I was in the Windy City for work. Joelen was so hospitable and even sweeter in person than online. I knew that once I was assigned her blog for the swap, I would have a difficult task in front of me. Joelen's blog contains thousands of recipes, so choosing one would be nearly impossible.


I finally settled on these caramel kiss brownies and drooled the moment I saw her photo. I love a good brownie, and knowing that this recipe was from Hershey's and contained caramel kisses sold it for me.

These brownies were out of this world. The brownies were nice and chewy and did not dry out. The frosting was good enough to eat with a spoon and hide the rest from my family. I left off the caramel sauce but did cut a few caramel kisses in half and add them as garnishes.

I took these brownies to the rink one evening, and the most common response I received was, "Oh. My. Goodness." My skating friends could not get enough of these, and their reactions definitely made me smile. Yes, these brownies are slightly more involved than your regular brownies, but a chocolate frosted brownie is worth the extra effort.

Caramel kiss brownies
Brownies
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey's Dark)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted and divided
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Buttercream frosting (recipe follows)
Buttercream frosting
  • 6 Tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 and 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce, optional
  • 1 cup Hershey's Caramel Kisses, cut in half, optional
Directions
To make the brownies: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease or line a 13"x9"x2" baking pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa and baking soda. Then add half (1/3 cup) of the melted butter and boiling water to the bowl and mix well until the batter gets thick. Add in the sugar, eggs, remaining melted butter, vanilla extract and salt. Mix until the batter is completely smooth.

Gently fold in the flour and chocolate chips and mix until just combined.

Transfer batter into your prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are done.

Turn off the oven and remove the pan from the oven. Allow the brownies to cool completely before frosting.

To make the buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and vanilla extract on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Alternately add the powdered sugar and cocoa with the heavy cream, and continue to mix until you achieve a thick and smooth frosting.

Frost on top of cooled brownies.

If desired, you can drizzle the caramel sauce and halved caramel kisses over the frosted brownies for a more complete look.

Yield: One 13"x9" pan; about 24 bars (more or less, depending on how big you slice them)

Source: What's Cookin, Chicago?; originally adapted from Hershey's

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