I hadn’t made brownies in awhile, and I wanted to make something different from the typical brownie. I pretty much love any kind of brownie, but it’s always nice to try something different. So when I saw this recipe over at VeryBestBaking.com, I just had to try it! It was a finalist in the 2000 Share The Very Best Recipe Contest, and for good reason. This rich, decadent brownie has 3 yummy layers…(1) a brownie base, (2) a middle layer of vanilla-flavored chips, pecans, and caramel, and (3) a top brownie layer that also has semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed in. If that doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth or any chocolate craving you may have, I don’t know what will!
So here’s the recipe, along with some suggestions of mine on how you can modify it. This recipe calls for an 8″ square baking pan. I actually made it twice–the first time, in a 9×9″ pan (thinking it was an 8″ pan by mistake!) and then in an actual 8×8″ pan, to see if there was much difference in the appearance. With the 9×9″ pan, the brownies are thinner and the layers are not as apparent, but I actually liked the thinner brownies better. They are good either way, though, so you’ll just have to try them for yourself! The first two photos I’ve posted are of the thinner brownies, and the last photo is of the thicker version.
CHOCOLATE-CARAMEL LAYERED BROWNIES (Layers of Love Chocolate Brownies) slightly adapted from VeryBestBaking.com
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs (you’ll be using 2 for the first part of the recipe and 1 later)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans (or substitute walnuts)
- 3/4 cup vanilla-flavored chips (or substitute butterscotch or peanut butter chips)
- 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping (or substitute butterscotch or hot fudge topping)
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or substitute milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking cocoa, and salt; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add in 2 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and blend well. Gradually beat in flour mixture from small bowl. You’ll have a pretty thick batter. Reserve 3/4 cup of this batter for your top layer. Spread the remaining batter on the bottom of your prepared 8″ baking pan. Sprinkle the pecans and vanilla chips over the batter, then drizzle the caramel topping over everything.
Beat the third egg into the remaining 3/4 cup batter until well blended. Fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spread this mixture evenly over the caramel/pecan/vanilla chip layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack, then cut into bars.
Take a look at look at those vanilla chips and chocolate chips…yummm…
Here’s part of the batch I made in the 8×8″ pan…you can see that they’re a little thicker and the middle layer is thicker, too…
My friend and taste-tester Ann had a great idea for serving these as a fancy dessert–serve each brownie on an individual dessert plate and sprinkle additional chopped pecans and vanilla chips on top. Then lightly drizzle additional caramel topping over everything–doesn’t that sound great? Something else you could do is serve each brownie with a scoop of ice cream on top, sprinkle with chopped pecans and drizzle with caramel topping…there are so many ways you can enjoy these brownies!
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