Fudgy Salted Caramel Brownies

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An easy recipe for rich & fudgy brownies topped with gooey caramel & sea salt. With how decadent they taste, nobody will believe they’re secretly skinny!

 

 

Last week, a few bloggers friends and I drove down to San Jose for the annual BlogHer Conference. Since most of us focus on food, Dorothy, Trish, Hayley, Karen, Ashley and I stuck together for the majority of the meals, sessions, and wandering around the Expo—our favorite part!  

 

In the largest conference hall, over 65 brands set up booths to create the Expo. As we strolled around, every brand’s reps encouraged us to try samples, snag a reusable tote bag, and hand them our business cards. With very few food brands, we ended up with ample time to visit other stations, such as toilet paper, bleach tablets, hair care products, and the most memorable one of all…

 

 

The Mrs., a five-member band of slightly older women with little kids of their own. They came together when they realized they couldn’t relate to any of the pop songs on the radio about risqué clothes and boozy Friday night parties, so they created tunes with lyrics of their own that reflected their thoughts and lives. Before debuting their new single called “I’m Enough” at lunch on the second day, they set up a booth to give us attendees a sneak peek.

 

Just before Saturday’s midday meal, Ashley and I stopped by to check out their booth. A small square white structure sat in the middle of the floor, with a large gold-framed mirror on one side. The Mrs. band’s volunteers took turns handing individuals a set of white headphones for us to slip on and listen to the song.

 

Now, before I reveal anything else… Here is their YouTube video explaining what happens when everyone looks in that mirror. It’s short—just over 3 minutes—and it opens in a new tab so you won’t lose your spot here. Please, pretty please, watch the brief clip and tell me what you think.

 

 

Did you watch it?

 

Although the mirror never showed those written messages or the videos, we each heard a personal message, directed solely at us. A woman’s voice came through the headphones, saying, “Hi Amy!” or “Hi Ashley!” and interacted with us while we stood there.

 

She mentioned our eyes, our smiles, lots of our other positive traits, and she asked us to hold our gaze in the mirror, looking into our own eyes. As easy as it sounds in writing, that was almost impossible. I could barely stare into my own eyes for more than two seconds at a time, and I tried biting my lip to prevent myself from letting tears swell in my eyes.

 

 

The woman’s voice noticed, and she kept gently requesting that I stopped chewing on my lip and smiled instead. It was one of the hardest, yet most refreshing things I’ve done in my life, and as Ashley and I walked away, holding tissues to the corners of our eyes to dab at those tears of reassurance and relief, we could barely say anything.

 

So when I arrived back home on Sunday, I wanted to create a dessert that reflected those few minutes staring into the mirror: the sweet message, the salty tears, and the comforting reassurance that I am enough.

 

 

A little while later, a pan of these Fudgy Salted Caramel Brownies sat cooling on my counter. Those gooey pockets of caramel peeking out from the tops and sides of the rich chocolaty squares provided a purely comforting dessert, exactly what I needed after a long weekend away.

 

I started with my favorite ultimate healthy fudgy brownies. They’re almost as easy as a box mix, and you don’t need a mixer! Just add the dry ingredients to one bowl, the wet to another, and mix them together with a fork. The batter is really thick, which helps keep them fudgy instead of cakey, so put some muscle into that stirring!

 

I wanted to try something different, so I swapped out my usual all-purpose or whole wheat flour for my own gluten-free blend. I included all 3 options below—any of them will work! Feel free to use whatever you already have on hand.

 

 

For the caramel, I used the typical squares wrapped in plastic you find at the grocery store (such as Kraft). You want to dice those fairly small because the smaller the pieces, the greater than chance of each bite containing one! I cut each caramel square into 18 bits. First I sliced the square in half; then I diced each half into 3 horizontal and 3 vertical strips.

 

You’ll fold half of the caramel bits into the batter, and just before popping the pan into the oven, sprinkle the rest on top along with the coarse sea salt. Adjust the salt to suit your taste. The ¼ teaspoon I used was fairly subtle, but it’s better to add less before baking because you can always sprinkle more on top right before serving!

 

 

It’s REALLY important to let the brownies cool for a long time. I usually let mine rest overnight in the pan for the fudgiest texture. If you slice into them just a few hours after removing them from the oven, the brownies will have more of a cakey texture, but you can always pop those squares you cut into an airtight container and let them sit longer so they turn fudgier over time.

 

To learn the best way to slice fudgy brownies, watch my video beneath the recipe!

 

 

These healthier Fudgy Salted Caramel Brownies didn’t stand a chance against my chocoholic sweet tooth! As soon as I finished photographing them, I dove straight into the richest, sweetest, fudgiest center square, shamelessly licking my fingers before I even put away my camera. They don’t taste a bit like cardboard the way your usual low-fat or low-calorie “diet” brownies do, and with how easy they are to make, you’ll never have to skip dessert again!

 

Because every day deserves fudgy chocolate and gooey caramel. 

 

 

If you like this recipe, then be sure to follow my Healthy Cookies, Brownies & Bars board on Pinterest!

 

Fudgy Salted Caramel Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies

Serving Size: 1 brownie

Fudgy Salted Caramel Brownies

These brownies are a chocoholic’s heaven! They’re incredibly rich and fudgy, with lots of gooey melted caramel and a hint of sea salt. Feel free to adjust the sea salt to suit your tastes, and remember, it’s always easier to sprinkle on more just before serving! The brownies will stay fresh up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container.

¾ c all-purpose, whole wheat, or gluten-free* flour (measured correctly)
¾ c unsweetened cocoa powder (measured correctly)
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt (regular fine-grained)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ c granulated sugar
¼ c nonfat milk
¼ c plain nonfat Greek yogurt
10 caramel squares, diced (such as Kraft)
scant ¼ tsp coarse sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F, and lightly coat an 8”-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and regular salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir in the sugar. Mix in the yogurt and milk, stirring until smooth and no large clumps remain. Add in the cocoa mixture, and stir until just incorporated. Gently fold in half of the diced caramels.
  3. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the remaining diced caramels and coarse salt. Bake at 300°F for 24-28 minutes (closer to 24 for fudgier, gooier brownies; closer to 28 for firmer brownies). Cool completely to room temperature in the pan, and allow the brownies to set for at least 4 hours before slicing into squares (or overnight, for the best fudgy texture).

Notes: For the gluten-free flour blend, I used as follows: ½ c brown rice flour, 2 tbsp millet flour, 1 tbsp buckwheat flour, 1 tbsp tapioca starch, and ¾ tsp xanthan gum.

If you slice into the brownies between 1-6 hours after they’ve cooled to room temperature, they’ll still have a slight cakey texture. Letting them sit overnight in the pan (or in an airtight container after slicing into squares) gives them a much fudgier texture.

© Amys Healthy Baking. Recipe and all images protected. Please obtain my written permission before using images. If republishing this recipe, please rewrite it in your own words or link back to this post.
http://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2014/07/29/fudgy-salted-caramel-brownies/

View Nutrition Information

 

The Best Way To Slice Fudgy Brownies

 

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*Disclosure: Some of the links included in this post may be affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. I really appreciate your support!



Comments

  1. Marina says on July 30, 2014 at 3:24 am

    A pizza cutter!!! Wow this whole time I’ve been using a knife and having to settle for mangled brownies. Thank you SO much! :)

    • Amy says on July 30, 2014 at 10:19 am

      You’re welcome, and thank YOU for watching my video!! It’s been much less frustrating slicing brownies since I discovered that, and I’m not so embarrassed about photographing their jagged edges! ;)

  2. Kyla @ Two Cups Cacao says on July 30, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Amy- that video was incredible. I really wish I had a chance to see the mirror for myself! I checked out the “Enough” song by The Mrs, and it is a very lovely song. Did you get to meet the band in person, or just see the mirror? Aside from the band, these brownies look incredible! The caramel melting on top looks so mouth-watering. I refuse to believe they are healthy! The pizza cutter trick is genius, I am going to have to try it! I already have a pizza cutter, but I never make or eat pizza, so now it can become my brownie cutter. (:

    • Amy says on July 30, 2014 at 10:21 am

      I love it Kyla — an official brownie cutter! When I showed my guy my video last night, he replied, “Oh, so is that why our pizza cutter is so dull?” Sounds like I need to get a second pizza cutter and deem it my official brownie cutter too! ;) I didn’t get a chance to meet the band because there were so many other women already in line, but standing in front of the mirror and experiencing that was more than enough. They’re talking about putting the mirror “on tour” and bringing it to different parts of the country, so maybe you will be able to see it yourself too!

  3. Andrea says on July 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    That was the sweetest video! It brought tears to my eyes. :) I bet it was even more powerful to experience it in person! Why do we as women have to be so self-critical? What a lovely group of women to want to spread this message.

    And a pizza cutter?! Brilliant! Bravo on your first how-to video, Amy!! I loved it!

    • Amy says on July 30, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      I agree Andrea; it seems like part of being a woman has evolved into being self-critical, whether openly in public or simply privately in our bathroom mirrors. This is something every lady, regardless of how young or old, needs to hear. I hope it’s something we’re able to pass on to the next generation of girls so that they don’t put themselves through the same things we do. And on a different topic… Thank you so much for your sweet words about my video!! :)

  4. Dorothy @ Crazy for crust says on July 30, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    It was such an inspirational booth! Such a great idea and a great message too. It was so great to hang out with you Amy!

    • Amy says on July 30, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      I loved hanging out with you too Dorothy! We should do that more often, especially if it involves ice cream too. ;)

  5. Hari Chandana says on July 31, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Looks too good.. yummy!

    • Amy says on July 31, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Thanks Hari! :)

  6. Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts says on August 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Oh man! These look SO good!

    • Amy says on August 2, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks Jessica! :)

  7. Erin says on August 3, 2014 at 6:51 am

    I’m dying to make these but I’m out of eggs!! Do you think they would work with the Ener-g egg replacer?

    • Amy says on August 3, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Yes, I think so! I’ve had great luck with substituting Ener-G for eggs in recipes in the past, so I believe it’ll work for these too. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the brownies Erin! :)

      • Erin says on August 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

        Thanks for the fast reply! It did work out perfectly and they’re delicious! But then again all your recipes are so good! :)

        • Amy says on August 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm

          I’m so happy to hear that Erin!! And I’m really excited that they turned out so well for you. You’re a talented baker! :)

  8. Julia says on August 6, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Thank you for sharing that video Amy! I started tearing up just reading your experience, but the movie made it even worse!! Gah! What an amazing experience that must have been. I love to see people out there that inspire and want to lift others up. I love that you created these brownies based on that experience too! Love the pizza cutter idea, I’m going to try this next time I make brownies!

    • Amy says on August 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      I love to see people out there that inspire and want to lift others up. <– I couldn’t have said it any better Julia. That’s exactly what made their song and mirror so moving. It was wonderful to be personally touched by it, but the fact that they want to take it around the country and share it with people all over the place… Absolutely wonderful. And I hope you enjoy the pizza cutter trick too!

Trackbacks

  1. […] When our two-hour drive ended in the parking garage, we checked in at the front desk and maneuvered our bags into the elevator to ride up to the ninth floor. After dropping off our lugging and taking a selfie (always required at a blogging conference!), we set off to meet the other Northern California ladies for dinner and wandering around the Expo. […]

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