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So Good I Can’t Think Of A Title

May 11, 2011

A number of days ago, I saw a recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s (aka PW) website that I just couldn’t get out of my head: Knock You Naked Brownies.

Go on, take a minute to check the recipe out and you’ll see why I couldn’t stop thinking about them….

I know, right?

But there was no way I could justify making them for just A and I. We’re both trying to curb our sugar intake and this would just be like feeding the fire. But with the various family events we had for Mother’s Day last weekend, I thought they would be the perfect treat for our moms and families.

So on Saturday I gathered the ingredients together, and set out to knock us naked (heads out of the gutters please!). I encountered a few issues (I doubled the recipe which may have complicated things), and the end result wasn’t as clean and smooth as PW’s pictures, but that didn’t keep them from tasting any less amazing!

I started off by making the brownie layers. Now, the recipe called for a box of German chocolate cake mix, but I couldn’t find German cake mix at our store. So I picked up Swiss:

I was hoping that as long as it was a European country, it wouldn’t make much difference 🙂

I added the melted butter and evaporated milk, mixed it all together. PW noted in her instructions that it would be a stiff batter. Was it ever! My spoon stood upright in the bowl:

I spread half the batter into a 9 x 13 dish and popped it in the oven for 10 minutes.

So far, so good.

While this cooled, I started unwrapping the caramels. All 120 of them. Yikes!

One…

Two…

Three…just kidding! It took a lot longer than I thought it would and by #5  I had enlisted A to help me. We stood there unwrapping caramels as we ate our lunch. I’m 99.9% sure we didn’t get any plastic bits mixed in with them.

Here’s a tip: I bought the caramels in bulk, but rather than counting out well over a hundred, A had the rather brilliant idea to weigh 12 of them and from that we determined that we needed 1200 grams of caramels!

He’s so smart 🙂

I’ll tell you right now that the estimated prep time in the recipe was a bit off. At least from my perspective of a start to finish type of time line. Maybe PW determined the prep time in a different way? Who knows.  It could be that she’s a lot more practiced in the kitchen than I am.

I may change the name of this blog to “The Mis-Adventures in Domesticity”.

Once the caramels were unwrapped, it was now time to melt them and this is where I encountered another problem: I don’t have a double boiler. But. I am inventive and came up with a pretty effective solution:

A giant heat safe measuring cup in a large pot of water. Perfect! I dream of someday having a fabulously equipped kitchen *cough*wedding registry*cough*, but until that point I’ll work with what I have. In went the caramels and more evaporated milk and I waited for them to melt. And waited. And waited. It took quite some time, but finally, I had a yummy looking caramel-milk mixture.

While the caramels were melting, I proceeded to the next step in the recipe. I had to flatten out the last half of the brownie dough into a rectangle. It would eventually become the top layer. I used a cutting board, which just happened to be the perfect sized rectangle, to shape it, and then turned it onto a piece of parchment paper.

Ok, it’s not pretty. But YOU try flip-flopping brownie dough without losing bits along the way.

The next step called for pouring the melted caramel onto the already baked brownie base. As soon as I poured, I knew there was too much caramel. It looks amazing, but I had concerns (rightly so) about how much volume it took up in the pan. But there was no turning back, so onward I went. Chocolate chips were sprinkled onto the caramel layer and then it was time for the top brownie layer.

I’m still not quite sure how I did it, but somehow I managed to get the raw brownie dough onto the caramel layer without it falling apart or splashing caramel all over the place:

Yup, that caramel was going to be a problem.

Into the oven for 25-30 minutes and voila:

As you can see, there was some overflow (Note to self: clean the oven), but man! Does that ever look good!I think that perhaps the cake mix had something to do with the overflow. I wonder if the German cake mix the recipe called for wasn’t supposed to rise as much as the Swiss cake mix did…ah well. Live and learn.

By the time they were finished, we were getting a little pressed for time. The recipe called for refrigeration for several hours, but it was 3:30 and we wanted to be at my parents for 4pm. So I covered them with plastic wrap, propped them up in the back seat and drove to my parents, where they were promptly put in the freezer for a couple of hours.

After dinner, I brought them out and started cutting them up. I knew, even before I started cutting, that they should probably have more time to solidify, but drooling had begun (me) and we (I) wanted dessert!!

Gooey they were, but oh so tasty. I cut them into large squares, about 2 inches, but if you happen to make these in the future I would very much suggest 1 inch squares and serve as bite size treats. These are very rich. Also, the caramel kind of overwhelmed the bottom brownie layer, making it difficult to lift them out of the pan. It seems like a sin to say it, since I LOVE it, but next time, less caramel.

Overall though, they had rave reviews! I brought the leftovers to A’s parents the next day (I cut them into smaller portions) and they were well enjoyed there as well. Funny enough, his sister had made a similar and equally tasty treat of brownies with caramel layered between. Great minds! We spent the afternoon in a sugar coma.

Oh, and A recommends not eating these with ice cream (vanilla frozen yogurt in the picture above). It’s a good idea in theory (ice cream on everything I say!), but the cold freezes the caramel to the point that it becomes hard as a rock and difficult to eat.

They didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped, appearance wise, but I’m not discouraged! This recipe is definitely going into my binder as one to keep and make again.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2011 11:38 am

    Our first clue that there would be too much caramel would have been when we bought more than a KILO of it…

  2. May 11, 2011 4:04 pm

    Ha! I know. But you know you loved them…

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