I finally came up with a name for these brownies. Bingefest brownies! Not only because they are the brownies that I take to every bingefest for rowing, but also because they are quite possibly the unhealthiest thing I bake. Like, seriously. On the bright side, these will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.
I’ve had an interesting experience with these little squares of sweetness. You see, there are three parts to it: the crust, the brownie, and the caramel. The original recipe idea is from Magnolia’s bakery. And their cookbook is quite possibly my favorite one in my stack of cookbooks (go buy the Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. So many great recipes.) However, whenever I tried making the brownies with the brownie recipe they provided, my oven would be weird and so the brownies would be weird and weirdness in the kitchen is not the good type of weird. So I got a different brownie recipe, and finally, the brownies baked evenly all the way through. Then the caramel. I found the PERFECT and simplest caramel recipe ever from Best Ever Chocolate. Like, crazy easy. So I basically did a three-in-one deal with these from Magnolia’s original recipe to their a slightly different one with a couple twists. So:
For crust (recipe from Magnolias):
4 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, really soft or melted
For Brownie (from Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard):
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chopped
1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I used semi sweet and it also worked)
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
For Caramel (from Best Ever Chocolate):
6 ounces of butter
1/2 cup of white sugar
3 tbs of corn syrup
14 oz canned condensed milk
Putting it all together:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a medium size bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter. Press firmly into an ungreased 12×18 jelly roll pan. Set aside.
To make brownie: sift flour and salt, set aside. Melt the butter and chocolates either by double boiling it or in a microwave safe bowl. Note that if you use the microwave, pay attention to how long it’s in there so it doesn’t burn. Heat it until you can smooth it over easily with a rubber spatula. In a separate large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until fluffy. Gently beat in the chocolate and butter mixture using a whisk. NOTE: MAKE SURE THE CHOCOLATE HAS COOLED. It doesn’t have to be cool, but it shouldn’t be hot! If it is, the addition of the hot chocolate to the eggs will cause the eggs to curdle. This means that the heat from the chocolates will cause the eggs to scramble. You do not want scrambled eggs in these brownies! Anyways, after adding the chocolate butter mixture, fold in the flour mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated evenly amongst the batter. Now, scrape the batter onto the crust (you may have a little bit of batter left over. That’s fine.) and distribute it evenly across the dish. Bake, rotating the pan about halfway through to make sure everything is even. It should take 25-30 minutes. Bake until the top is slightly firm to the touch and a crust has formed. But when you stick a toothpick in, it won’t come out clean. Let cool.
While the brownies are baking, it’s time for the caramel! This is very simple. Get a big-ish (like, 8 cup capacity) heavy bottom pan. Place the butter, sugar, syrup, and condensed milk in the pan. Heat until the sugar has melted. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 6-8, stirring, until very thick. Once the the brownies are done and they’ve cooled for a little bit, pour these over the brownies and spread the caramel evenly overtop of them. Let chill in the refrigerator until firm.
You could also omit the caramel and put coconut on top instead:
or you know, just omit the caramel and the crust and stuff the brownies with whipped cream (in which case you’d need a cup and a half of cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and about a half a cup of brown sugar. Just throw it all in a bowl and beat until thick).
whatever satisfies you!