Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bourbon Caramel Brownies

     I already went on a pretty long rampage in my last post about my sudden desires for bars, particularly brownies. Although I got slightly sidetracked by some totally worth it blondies, I had to return to my original intentions. I will not talk to much in this post, because I realized as I cut these in squares a few hours ago just how tantalizingly sexy a brownie can be. So I think instead, I will just let the photos help you ponder what I mean by that...
Maybe it is the smell of butter, burnt sugar and bourbon that fills your kitchen as they bake.
Maybe it is the thick, dark chocolaty color they contain.
Maybe it is their fudgy, sticky quality.
Or just maybe it is the crunchy, sweet and salty notes the walnuts add from candying in the caramel.
I don't know what it is exactly, but these are sexy brownies.

Notes: If you don't want to use bourbon, substitute 1/4 C heavy cream for the bourbon. However, since the bourbon is balanced with the butter, it is not too strong and rather takes on a buttery caramel flavor with notes of bourbon. It is not overwhelming. For cocoa powder I did a mix of 3/4 C natural (un-alkalized) and 2 TBSP super alkalized (called Black Onyx from Savory Spice Shop in Denver). The cocoa powder is flexible though, so you can use all Dutch processed, all natural, or some combo of the too if you would like. 

Brownie base is from Alice Medrich's BitterSweet, "Best Cocoa Brownies." Found on Epicurious

1/2 C sugar
2 TBSP water
4 TBSP unsalted butter
1/4 C bourbon* (see notes)
1/4 TSP salt

1/2 C Walnuts 

10 TBSP unsalted butter
1 1/4 C sugar
3/4 C + 2 TBSP cocoa powder* see notes
1/4 TSP salt
1/2 TSP vanilla extract 
2 cold eggs
1/2 C all-purpose flour

For the caramel:
1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water, turn onto medium heat and allow the sugar to liquefy and brown to a copper color (for more caramel making details go to Bananas Foster Cake)
2. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in 4 TBSP of diced butter, until it melts. Next add the 1/4 C of bourbon and salt, continue to stir, and then return the pan to heat. 
3. The mixture will seize into a ball. Continue to stir until the clumps have undone them selves and the caramel has darkened just a smidge. 
4.Pour the caramel onto a silicon mat or piece of parchment paper over a plate and place it in the freezer to harden.

For the Brownies:
1. Preheat the oven to 325F and line with aluminum and grease an 8x8 pan. 
2. In a heatproof bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Place the bowl over a small saucepan with an inch of simmering water. Stir the mixture periodically until the butter has melted and the ingredients have mixed together.
3. Remove the cocoa mixture from heat and let it cool. 
4. When it is warm (no longer hot), stir in the vanilla extract, followed by the eggs, one at a time they have completely combined. Add in the flour and stir until that is completely combined as well.
5. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan.

1. Remove the caramel from the freezer and cut it into small squares. Remove the squares and scatter them over the top of the brownies.
2. Chop the nuts into smallish pieces and scatter them on top of the caramel.
3. Bake in the oven at 325 for 25-30 minutes until the brownies have cooked through (you can use a knife to check). The caramel on top will look melted and soft, so look past that. It will harden as it cools.
4. Allow to cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes before removing. Allow to cool for 10 more minutes before slicing. They are delicious served with a glass of milk or vanilla ice cream :)
    Boulder Butter

No comments:

Post a Comment