This is just SO much easier than brownies from scratch and yet still so yummy! If attempting to make from scratch, I’ll save that effort for the family recipe my mom recently gave to me.
The ingredients for the salted caramel. So simple.
This gives you an idea of the process it takes to melt the sugar. It took me about ten minutes to get it to this point. The sugar seems like it will never possibly melt, then it gets to this point when clumps form, and it goes quickly to liquid from there.
Reality Check. So, I mentioned above that I had made the determination that I was going to make the salted caramel from scratch. I was at the grocery store for a normal run, so I decided to purchase what I guessed would be a key element to homemade caramel before I had an actual recipe – picture below. Turns out, melting caramel and adding salt isn’t exactly homemade. I truly had no idea that caramel consisted of just sugar, butter and cream.
Salted Caramel Brownies
For the brownies:
1 box of brownie mix (as well as the ingredients listed, generally an egg, vegetable oil and water)
For the salted caramel sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
1 teaspoon flaked sea salt (I used a heaping teaspoon, but see my note above regarding my love of salt)
For shortcut alternatives, you can use a high quality jar of caramel and top with sea salt, or melt Kraft caramels with cream and vanilla and sea salt – see sample recipe post here)
Flaked sea salt for topping
Make the sauce first, as you will want to pour on the brownies while they are still warm.
1. Heat sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. (This is the part I like least about the recipe, as you have to pay constant attention while cooking.) The sugar will form clumps after about 10 minutes – see picture above for reference – and eventually melt into a brown, amber-colored liquid. Continue to stir constantly, and be careful not to burn.
2. Immediately add the butter once the sugar is completely melted (the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added).
3. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2 minutes.
4. Drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring.
5. Allow mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
6. Remove from heat and stir in the flaked sea salt. Allow to cool down before using, as it will continue to thicken.
7. Bake the brownies according to the instructions on the package.
8. As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, drizzle the salted caramel over the top (heat the caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if too thick to pour).
9. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt.