Remember how I adamantly tried to refocus your energy away from hurricane Irene to making salted caramel brownies this past weekend? Well, let’s just say that if you live in the Northeast, Irene certainly came out winning across the board.
That’s right, the brownies failed.
Actually, if we are to continue being brutally honest with each other in our blogging relationship, I think I should admit I failed the brownies. It was a sad sight in the kitchen on Sunday and I am so happy no one was there to witness me waving the white towel of defeat.
As a disclaimer, I have never made homemade brownies. I know you are picking your jaw off the ground right now, but it is true. As a little girl I loved baking all the time, especially when it was our turn to bring treats for Sunday school. I reveled in all my glory as each of my fellow classmates swallowed my creations and went up for more. I loved getting compliments served with surprised expressions from the parents who didn’t want to believe I actually baked them and not my mom. The secret that I kept from them, a sin that I was making every time I made the treats for Sunday school of all places, was that they were all made from a box!! Yes!! I am confessing my sins after 20 years! Betty Crocker was my God in the kitchen each Saturday night!
I hope you won’t judge me.
God still loves me and you should too.
I will never, ever lie to you. I promise. I pinky swear.
Getting back to the salted caramel brownies… It all started with the “caramel” sauce. Before reading the directions, I assumed the caramel sauce was to made up of sugar and butter maybe? But no, it was evaporated milk, brown sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla, and butter. I went along with it even though it tasted yucky and had a weird consistency. I made up the brownies according to the recipe, double checking it till I felt I was going crazy over a brownie recipe. In the oven they went. I set aside the caramel mixture with a little confidence and took the brownies out when they had slight brownie come out when I stuck a fork in it. That’s what the recipe said to do, so I did it. As the brownies cooled for 30 minutes, I made the chocolate mix to drizzle over the caramel at the end. That was a nightmare! Who would have thought that melting chocolate could be such a difficult thing to do? Not me. The issue I had was that when I melted the chocolate with evaporated milk, at 20 seconds it was creamy and consistent for drizzling, but then at 30 seconds it hardened and became a mushy, ugly, fowl looking mess. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me!
Eventually the brownies cooled and I spread the caramel sauce over them and let it sit for 30 minutes. It was supposed to have hardened by then, but it was far from that. I let it set another 30 minutes and we had no improvements. The brilliant cook that I am, I decide to check the brownies and see if the caramel is soaking into them. I don’t know what chemical reactions were occurring, but now the brownies were gooey and gross. The oven went back on and I put them in (with the caramel on top) for 15 minutes. They looked awful, so I scraped the caramel (still a liquidy, soupy & goopy mess) into the sink and let the brownies cool.
The best part of this adventure was when my boyfriend tells me (2 days later) his views on my brownie-making. He says that as we were leaving to grab a bite one night, he lagged behind in the kitchen while I was in the car so he could sneak a chunk of brownies. Well, apparently they were hard as a rock and tasted so bad he spit them out and couldn’t tell me for 2 days!! Thanks Babe. I know you are looking forward to the boxed version this weekend, and that is O.K. I know you still support me learning to cook. I’m just glad it was you who tried them first and not my future boss 🙂
If you are feeling inclined to try the recipe and prove to me it wasn’t my fault, then by all means, go ahead. I support you 110%!!! But you have been warned!! Me, I have a lot practice before I can call myself a baker.
If you want to try how good the idea of salted caramel brownies are, Decadent Creations has a version that I initially fell in love with.
from Cooking Light magazine, Sept. 2011