Thursday, April 17, 2008

Amazing Turtle Brownies!

I had these at my friend's baby shower and they were the best brownies I have ever had!

Turtle Brownies

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Caramel Topping:
40 Kraft caramels (10 oz), unwrapped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups pecan halves, toasted

Ganache Topping:
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch rectangular baking pan.

Brownies: Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the brownie batter.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugars until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the melted chocolate mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and, on low speed, beat in the flour and salt.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or just until the brownies are barely firm to the touch. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Caramel: Place the unwrapped caramels and cream in a saucepan and melt, over low heat (stirring frequently), until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the toasted pecans (instructions are at the bottom of recipe), making sure all the pecans are coated with caramel. Spread the caramel topping evenly over the still warm brownies and let cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate brownies for about an hour or until the brownies are firm.

Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow tostand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth.

Remove the brownies from the refrigerator and, using a fork, drizzle the ganache over the brownies in a zigzag pattern. Cover and refrigerate until the chocolate is set..

Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, or in the freezer for longer storage.

Note: To toast pecans - Bake in a 350 degree F (177 degree C) oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant