Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Knock You Naked Caramel Brownies

For me, this is the best use of German chocolate cake because I'm actually not that fond of German chocolate cake. My taste buds tend to find it a bit dry. However, using it from a convenient boxed cake mix makes these brownies contrastingly perfect because they are slightly crispy on top, chewy on the bottom, and filled with gooey caramel in the middle. I imagine if I used a devil's food cake box that it would be more fudgy but I like the varying texture. It's perfect.

Thank you Pioneer Woman for recreating these Killer Brownies! Her step by step photography is beautiful, not to mention the end result. How Ree Drummond manages her multifaceted blogs, websites, cooking, photography, and family has always been amazing. Now add a show on the Food Network! Where does she even find the time? I've watched too much reality TV and behind the scenes from Food Network that now I cannot stand the fake TV personalities that newbies work hard to grow out of. But, Ree is a natural. She seems completely comfortable and genuine which makes her show inviting to me and relaxing.

The only adaptations I made: decided not to bake it twice. From past experiences, I was afraid the bottom layer would come out dry. Also, decided not to add the powdered sugar on top since I didn't have a package that was freshly opened - which is when it tastes best. The creative ideas always come in retrospect - I think it would have been awesome if I added some salt to the caramel. Salted caramel and chocolate are soul mates.

Knock You Naked Caramel Brownies

1 box (18.5 Ounce) German Chocolate Cake Mix (I Used Duncan Hines)
1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
1/2 cup Evaporated Milk (additional)
1/2 cup Butter, Melted
60 whole Caramels, Unwrapped
1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.

Press half the mixture into a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water) melt caramels with additional 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When melted and combined, pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.

Turn out remaining brownie dough on work surface. Use your hands to press it into a large square a little smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to remove it from the surface, then set it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to serve, generously sift powdered sugar over the surface of the brownies. Cut into either nine or twelve helpings, and carefully remove from the pan.

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