I just made 3 humongous pans of turtle brownies for my niece’s wedding and they were seriously yummy. Let me be clear, I did NOT make homemade brownies. I only believe in homemade brownies if someone else is making them. Otherwise, I believe in a) Ina Garten’s brownie mix, b) Ghiradelli’s brownie mix, or c) Trader Joe’s truffle brownie mix. Let some other superstar baker spend their time making something that is only marginally more delicious than a mix, but far more time consuming. If you disagree, try to convince me with samples of your homemade goodies. I will try to remain open-minded.
On to the goodness, I adapted a recipe from the Joy of Baking that transformed my Ghiradelli mix into a salty, chewy, sweet, crunchy brownie delight. Use the following topping on any brownie recipe you like, but try to make the brownie on the thinner side. Just use the largest pan option given (I used 13×9).
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
5 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups pecan halves, well toasted and salted**
- Prep ingredients while brownies bake. You should start the process the minute you pull the brownies out of the oven.
- In a three quart heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once it boils, stop stirring and cook the mixture until it turns a golden caramel color, about 10 – 12 minutes. (Swirl the pan as needed so the caramel cooks evenly.)
- Remove from heat and carefully add the cream and vanilla (the mixture will sputter and steam so be careful). Stir in the pecans and immediately pour over the still warm brownie layer, spreading evenly.
- Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate brownies for 2-3 hours until the brownies are firm.