Food Friday: Spicy Caramel Brownies


Remember when I lost my mind and made Thanksgiving dinner completely on my own? That was fun.  If you do happen to recall that wonderful 8-10 hour ordeal, then you probably remember the fact that there was one item on my overzealous menu that I did not get a chance to make because I passed ou- ummm I had already made too much food to begin with.  Here’s a quick reminder of that menu.  The one dish I did not make was a desert option of Spicy Caramel Brownies, not too important since I had already made a delicious Caramel Apple Pecan pie.  That said, my sweet tooth kept nagging the hell out of me to try the recipe so I did. Here’s what happened…

I only used a sprinkle of red pepper because I'm a punk :(

I only used a sprinkle of red pepper because I’m a punk 🙁

Let me get one disclaimer out-of-the-way and say that I’m a girl who prefers her sweets with salt, not spice.  Therefore trying this recipe was a bit of a risk for me…which is why I didn’t use as much of the red pepper as was listed in the recipe.  If you like spice with chocolate, by all means add more!  Overall, I thought this recipe was very simple and I LOVED making the caramel on my own just by simmering condensed milk over boiling water instead of getting store-bought caramel. Who knew it was that easy! By the way, if you do not have a double boiler (I didn’t) just use a small pot for the boiling water and a slightly larger pot on top for the milk. Works just fine.

Caramel deliciousness

Caramel deliciousness

Before I illustrate with a gallery of swirly chocolate goodness, I have to be honest since this is an honest place and lies are bad.  I didn’t love this recipe.  I’m SUPER particular about my brownies, especially since I’m not a huge fan of chocolate (I like chocolate in things, don’t love it when it’s the main item i.e. chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, brownies with no nuts) and I know I went wrong with this recipe because I did not have the correct size pan.  This recipe calls for a 9-inch square pan, not a 9×13 pan like the one I had.  Always the optimist, I tried to tell myself that it wouldn’t matter but it did and my brownies turned out slightly dry…not gooey the way I expected.  My unsuspecting friends loved them though! I was ready to trash them…mainly out of anger with myself.

Brownies pre-baking

Brownies pre-baking, post swirling

That said, they still looked GORGEOUS and the spice added a faint kick without being overpowering.  I also added a sprinkle of sea salt on top after taking them out of the oven. Salty + sweet = perfection. I’m sure you’ve tried a recipe that didn’t turn out exactly how you planned, right? Tell me about it so I don’t feel so bad 🙂

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