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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Turtle Brownies

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There are several things that can make me happy when I bake. They are:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Nutella
  3. Anything with citrus
  4. White Chocolate
  5. Caramel

So, turtle brownies hit on two of my five favorite things!  Yumm.  Never made them, this will be a first.

Letting my mixer do the hard work:

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my homemade double boiler - glass bowl on a pan of of hot water:

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The batter before it goes into the oven:

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My finished brownies before the turtle topping:

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The brownies were easy - now I'm waiting for them to cool and then I'll begin the caramel.  I've made caramel several times in the past, so hopefully it'll be pretty easy!  One of our favorite things to make is caramel popcorn so that's where I first learned to make it.

I took pictures throughout the boiling process showing the browning of my sugar/water mixture:

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about 5 minutes into boiling:

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about 9 minutes into the boiling process:

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at about 10 minutes:

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at about 12 minutes, and at this point I took it off the heat.  The color started reaching a nice amber color:

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After I added the cream, vanilla, and sugar - LOTS of bubbles:

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And I just tossed in the nuts - I ran out of pecans and had to add walnuts to get to the full cup of nuts:

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Pouring it over the cooled brownies and beginning to spread:

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The final product before I put it in the fridge:

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And sweet final goodness:

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So, what did I think:  YUMMM!!  These are rich, sweet and insanely addicting.  My only issue is that my brownies sunk a bit in the middle and a lot of the caramel pooled to the center making a thicker caramel layer in the middle.  Not bad, but I wish I could have gotten a more even distribution.  I will definitely make them again BUT not often - just looking at them and I gained a few pounds.  Dangerous!

 

From: Martha Stewart's Cookies Cookbook

For the batter:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 3 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped.
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (about 4 ounces)

1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a buttered 8 inch square baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang.  Butter lining (not overhang).

2. Make batter: Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl.

3. Put sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add chocolate mixture, milk, and vanila, and mix until combined.  Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until well combined.

4. Pour batter into prepared dish.  Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of brownies comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 27 to 30 minutes.  Let cool on wire rack.

5. Make topping: Bring sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. When mixture comes to a boil, stop stirring, and wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Continue to cook, swirling pan occasionally, until medium amber, 5 to 7 minutes.

6. Remove from heat and immediately add cream, vanilla, and salt.  Gently stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until smooth. Add pecans; stir until caramel begins to cool and thickens slightly, about 1 minute.

7. Pour caramel over cool brownies; spread with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until cold, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

8. Let brownies stand at room temperature at least 15 minutes before serving. Lift out, and cut into 16 squares, wiping knife with a hot, damp cloth between each cut. Brownies can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.

2 comments:

jillbert said...

Hi Stephanie - I don't have your email address, but I wanted to say thank you for the Elfster package! It arrived today, and believe it or not, Garlic and Sapphires is on the list of books I'd like to read, so I'm excited to have it now! I love the Martha magazine too! Thanks so much - it's always fun to get a package in the mail. Happy baking in 2009! --Jill

AmyRuth said...

Happy New Year and good luck with all the NY's list of things to accomplish. :-)
AmyRuth