Friday, June 24, 2016

Salted Caramel Brownie Bites

Chocolate and caramel is a winning combination. These little brownie bites are fairly simple, but not at all plain. These are quick and efficient, as you bake all of the brownie bites at once. If it were a warm day, these would be ideal as you only have to have the oven on for a short while. That’s not an issue for us in the Seattle area. Although we had a warm spring, this first week of summer has been quite mild. Some days I’d even call it downright gloomy (which I actually love)!

I used a mixer to make the brownie batter, but it’s so simple that you could mix it up by hand. You wouldn’t think that half a cup of flour and cocoa powder would be sufficient for making 24 cookies, but it was fine. I used a medium cookie scoop to make the process of portioning the batter easier. It’s also a lot less messy. For the topping, I used caramel bits rather than caramel squares. The original recipe called for 20 caramel squares, so about a cup is the equivalent.

These looked great coming out of the oven and I made a super deep indentation, so there would be more room for caramel! I didn’t take the cookies out of the pan when they were cooled. I think the combination of pressing the cookies really hard to make an indentation, perhaps not baking them enough, and leaving them in the pan, I had a terribly difficult time getting them out of the pan cleanly. Out of 24, I think only about 10 came out cleanly. I have a bit of a caramel travesty all over my counter! Whether the cookies came out of the pan or not, they are still very tasty. Chocolate and salty caramel is a winner, no matter what they look like.

Salted Caramel Brownie Bites
½ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup flour
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup caramel bits
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Sea Salt, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 24-count mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

 In a large mixer bowl, beat the melted butter and sugar on medium until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again on medium until well combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and mix on low until just combined.

Scoop the brownie batter into the prepared muffin pan.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the brownie bites comes out almost clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Make an indentation in each brownie bite while the brownie is still warm. Allow the brownie bites to cool. Once cool, remove the brownie bites from the pan.

In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine the caramel bits and heavy cream. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring the mixture well between each increment. Continue heating until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the caramel into the indentation in each brownie bite. Sprinkle the top of each brownie bite with sea salt.
Recipe from Live Well, Bake Often

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