Turtle Brownies

Do you know what I love more than baking?

Baking for somebody other than myself.

I was in Florida for a couple of days. Which meant Scott bore the brunt of my baking addiction. I try to be thoughtful and make things that appeal to him.

Like these turtle brownies.

Chocolate. Caramel. Pecans. Even if they were a flop, I am pretty sure they would be a delicious pile of goo. A timeless combination, which makes it appropriate for Florida, as the weather here has been somewhat undefinable, in terms of seasons.

These are intense. I have no other words. Not a quick and simple brownie by any means, but well worth the commitment. And let’s face it, Scott is worth it.

Turtle Brownies

adapted slightly from Gourmet
**********
Brownie batter
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup 60% cocoa chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
Caramel sauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
 
3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/3 cup chocolate chips
**********

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast pecans for about 15-20 minutes. Leave oven on and line an 8-inch square glass baking dish with aluminum foil.

Make brownie layer:
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

Melt chocolate and butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth, then remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, then stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition until mixture is glossy and smooth. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour batter evenly in baking dish and bake for 30. Cool completely in pan on a rack.

Make caramel-pecan layer:
Bring sugar, water, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil, without stirring, until mixture turns a golden caramel color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add cream and vanilla (mixture will bubble and steam). Pour over brownie layer, spreading evenly. Sprinkle pecans over the caramel layer. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Prepare garnish:
Melt remaining chocolate chips in the microwave (heat for 30 seconds, stir and heat for 30 seconds more). Drizzle melted chocolate decoratively over brownies.

Chill brownies, loosely covered, until caramel and chocolate are firm, at least 4 hours.

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