Less Noise, More Green: Pot Luck Recipes: Salt Caramel Brownies

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pot Luck Recipes: Salt Caramel Brownies

The Holiday party season has officially started. This weekend we had our first Christmas gathering here at the house, with my in-laws, before they go to Florida for the winter.  Saturday was a hive of activity with our tree going up and being decorated and some of the other decorations being hung. I have yet to forage in the garden for items to make the natural trimmings.

Pink sand from Bermuda. Thanks, Grand Cindy!

I promised the kids this year I would make them new stockings. The ones they had dated back to when they were born and were cheap and store bought. Using fabric and felt I already had, I disappeared into my work room and emerged a couple of hours later with these:

I cheated a bit by not adding a lining or running the cuff all the way around the top, but I think they came out quite well.

Our Christmas tradition with my in-laws is to order Chinese food, which we did, and I made dessert. This year I made Salt Caramel Brownies and homemade ice cream. The inspiration came from a chain of doughnut shops in our area that is selling salt caramel hot chocolate. I love the sweet and salty juxtaposition of flavors. The recipe is quite simple but the result is a nice sophisticated twist on the traditional brownie.

Many of the parties we will go to between now and Christmas Day will be pot lucks. I am always looking for recipes that strikes the balance between appealing to everyone and interesting enough to be a stand out. I think this recipe achieves that goal. Over the next couple of weeks I will share some of my tried and true pot luck dishes that are guaranteed to be a hit with a crowd!

Salt Caramel Brownies

1 cup vegetable oil
11/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
35-40 caramel candies, unwrapped
4 Tbsp. cream 
1/2 - 2 tsp. coarse seas salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 pan.

In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar and vanilla. Beat in the eggs. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix well. Pour into the prepared pan.

In a double boiler, melt the caramels and cream, stirring over low heat until the caramels are completely melted and blended with the cream. Do not let boil.

Drizzle the caramel over the brownie mixture. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the brownies comes out clean. Lightly sprinkle the salt over the brownies. Less is more here.

Let cool completely before removing from the pan. Depending on how generous you are feeling, or the number of people you are feeding, this recipe will make any where from 18 to 30 squares.

See you in the kitchen,


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