Thursday, November 12, 2015

Candy Bar Brownies

Yet another recipe from Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen mystery series, this time from The Cream Puff Murder!  This is more of an idea than a recipe, but it sure is a good idea.  We polished off the pan of brownies in a day and a half, even though they're very rich.  My husband, the chocolate and brownie lover, said these brownies seemed more like a candy bar than a brownie!  They're good at room temperature, but best a couple of hours after they come out of the oven and are still a little bit warm because the chocolate in the middle isn't completely set up yet. 
Quick Note:  The original recipe said to use a mix for a 9 by 13 pan, but to bake it in an 8 by 8 pan.  I used a mix for an 8 by 8 pan and have no regrets, they were perfect.  I fear the larger mix in the smaller pan would have overflowed.  Also, the recipe said to use a plain mix, but I used one with a caramel swirl and we loved how it turned out!  If you can't find a mix with a caramel swirl, you can try swirling in 1/4 C caramel ice cream topping, but no promises on how it will turn out.  I tried doing this recently with Twix brownies and used Smuckers Salted Caramel sauce and the caramel kind of boiled off and disappeared into the batter.

Update 8/15/16: I made these a different way, and they were even better.  I used a regular brownie mix, put chopped peanut butter cups and Hershey bars in the middle according to the directions below.  After the brownies were done baking, I made a caramel sauce by melting 5 oz (by weight) soft caramels with 1/4 C milk over medium-low heat.  I poked some holes in the brownies with a meat fork, then poured the caramel sauce over top.  They were awesome brownies!  So gooey and chocolaty that they were best eaten with a fork.  Good alternative if you have a little more time on your hands and want an over the top brownie or if you can't find a mix with caramel swirl.

 Candy Bar Brownies
1 8 by 8 box brownie mix with a caramel swirl (I used Duncan Hines Salted Caramel)
ingredients specified on brownie mix
2 giant size milk chocolate Hershey Symphony candy bars, or other chocolate candy, chopped up
Preheat oven to temperature specified on brownie mix and grease an 8 by 8 baking dish.
Prepare brownie mix according to box instructions, and spread half of the batter in the prepared baking dish. 
Top with the chocolate bars, breaking them as necessary to fit.  You want it to be one flat layer and will have some chocolate left over, but I don't see that as a problem!
Spread remaining brownie batter on top of chocolate so it's covered.  Drizzle the caramel evenly over the brownie batter, then use a butter knife to swirl it through the batter.
Bake brownies according to box directions.  They're done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.  The melted chocolate may get on the toothpick, but you should be able to tell the difference between melted chocolate and raw brownie batter.
Let brownies cool until just a little bit warm (about 2 hours), then serve.  Cover leftovers with foil.  You can serve leftover brownies at room temperature or warm them up in the microwave for a few seconds.

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