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sparkle kitchen: brownies

In this week's Martin and Sylvia: More Adventures story, "Grandma's Brownies", Martin and Sylvia's family travels south to Grandma's house. Along the way, they all think about the traditional foods Grandma serves during their annual feast together.

Daddy thinks about the mashed potatoes, Momma thinks about the baked squash, Martin thinks about the rosemary roasted nuts, and Sylvia thinks about grandma's brownies. After all of that delicious thinking ahead, when they finally arrive, the question for Sylvia is, how many brownies can she have?


Like Sylvia, my eyes are often bigger than my stomach when it comes to brownies. They look and smell so good, but by the time I lick the beaters and sample a few hot out of the oven, I often have the beginning of a tummy ache.

My solution is to have one or two, and then get them out of the house. Friends moving into a new apartment, neighbors who happened to be home at the right time, co-workers having a bad week—all have been the beneficiaries of my inability to stop myself from eating too many brownies.

Somehow people are always happy to help once they get a whiff of warm, gooey chocolate.

The recipe below is a bit of a holiday brownie; it has a salted caramel layer to give it something extra special. To avoid overcooking it, make sure you take it out of the oven when a knife inserted in the center comes out almost, but not quite completely, clean. Then, let the brownies cool to finish setting up before you cut them.

These are as rich as the name suggests, so—really—wrap up half the pan and take them to a nice neighbor.

browniesMeryl2

Salted Caramel Brownies

Ingredients

1½ cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups sugar

¾ cup baking cocoa

1 cup oil

4 eggs

¼ cup milk

1 cup dark chocolate chips

14 ounces caramel candy

14-ounce can sweetened, condensed milk

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. In another large bowl, mix together the sugar, cocoa, oil, eggs and milk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until they're nicely blended. Lastly, gently fold in the chocolate chips. Spread about two-thirds of the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for 12 minutes.

As that's going on, melt the caramel for the filling. To do so, heat the caramel candy together with the sweetened, condensed milk in a microwave for 30 seconds at a time—giving it a quick stir in between—until it's melted.

When the brownie timer goes off, pour the melted caramel over the warm brownie layer. Spread the remaining brownie batter over the top of the caramel and swirl the top with a knife. Bake for 35-40 minutes more or until a knife inserted in center comes out almost clean. Let the brownies cool completely before you slice or package them.


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About the Author

Meryl Carver-Allmond
Sparkle Kitchen & Craft Blogger

The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.

Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.

When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.