{recipe} Sexy Salted Caramel Brownies, or, The Only Brownies I Will Ever Make Again

Last night I had an esteemed guest for dinner–the mayor of Palo Alto, Sid Espinosa. With his impressive pedigree, I was expecting someone very business-like and maybe even a little straight-laced… but he took one bite of these brownies and started saying utterly obscene things about them. This blog is strictly PG and I want to make sure he comes over for dinner again, so I’m just going to leave it at that.

Another esteemed guest emailed this morning and referred to me as “maker of the most wonderful brownies known to man.”

Simply put, I don’t think I’ll ever make another kind of brownie. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a brownie that tastes better than these!

I saw the recipe on Broken Record, who got it from the Brown Eyed Baker. I did some things a little differently than either of them, so I’m rewriting the recipe here with my own instructions. But I thank them from the bottom of my heart for inspiring this fabulous recipe.

Sexy Salted Caramel Brownies

makes a 9×13 pan of very rich brownies and you will be surprised how few people it serves in the end since everyone will want to eat at least 2 or 3


for the caramel:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tblsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

for the brownie batter:

  • 11 oz. dark chocolate (I used 70% cacao)
  • 1 cup butter, cut in pieces
  • 2 Tblsp dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
for sprinkling on top:
  • Fleur de sel
  • coarse raw (turbinado) sugar


for the caramel:

  • Put sugar and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan (preferably with a light colored bottom so you can see the color.) Add enough water to make the consistency of wet sand, about 1/4 cup. Swirl the pan to combine sugar and water.
  • Turn the heat on high and let cook, without stirring, until the sugar turns a dark amber color. If one part of the pan is turning brown and the other part isn’t, swirl the pan a little to mix it together.
  • Turn off the heat and carefully whisk in the cream to stop the caramelization. Add the salt and the sour cream and stir with a whisk. Set aside to cool.

for the brownie batter:

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9×13 inch pan with foil, folding it over the edges (you’ll be glad you did this!) Spray with cooking spray or lightly butter.
  • Using the microwave or a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter together until completely melted.
  • Off the heat, stir in the cocoa powder and the sugars, mixing with a whisk.
  • Add 3 eggs and whisk to completely combine. Add remaining 2 eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  • Add the flour and switch to a rubber spatula to mix it in gently until no pieces of white remain.

to assemble and bake:

  • Pour half the brownie batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly with the spatula.
  • Pour most of the caramel over the brownie batter, reserving about 1/4 cup of it. Try not to get too much up against the edges, but do get a nice even layer over the bulk of the batter.
  • Dip the rubber spatula into the remaining batter and get a big glop of it on the spatula. Let the batter fall off the spatula in a wide ribbon over the caramel as you move across the pan. Repeat until you use all the batter and have covered up the caramel. If it’s not all covered, use the spatula to gently spread the batter. It’s OK if a little caramel is peeking out, though.
  • Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake another 20-25 minutes, until a knife in the center comes out clean (clean of brownie, anyway – it might have some caramel on it.)
  • As soon as you pull the brownies out of the oven, drizzle the remaining caramel over the top as evenly as possible.
  • Sprinkle immediately with a handful of turbinado sugar and a healthy pinch or two of fleur de sel.
  • Let cool and cut at room temperature. You can store them in the fridge if you’re not eating them right away, but bring them back to room temperature before eating. Don’t leave them out for too long or they’ll get very gooey and oozy.

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4 Responses

  1. camille says:

    Yes!! I’m so glad they made the mayor get sensual… wait, that sounds ENTIRELY wrong. Um.

  2. Lora says:

    These do indeed look sexy and chewy and now they are on my to do list. Wow.

  3. Dana says:

    I wouldn’t kick someone out of bed for eating these brownies. They look so good.

  4. Leslie says:

    These were almost as epic when I made them. Thanks again!