A few years ago I came across this recipe in a book by Tracy Jerald called “Free to Breathe.” I knew I had to make the brownies every time they were mentioned in the story. While I enjoyed the original recipe I usually make adjustments to recipes based on my personal taste. I prefer very dense, fudgy brownies but for this recipe, I use a box mix that is more cake-like to counteract the caramel center. Use whichever you prefer, there is no wrong way to make them. The original recipe calls for evaporated milk. I use condensed milk because why hold back when making brownies? I find that the caramel sauce is thicker, creamier, and has a consistency I prefer when I use condensed milk. Additionally, I modified the recipe from 18 caramel candies to 12 chopped-up Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels from Aldi because I always have those on hand in case there is a charcuterie emergency. Yes, charcuterie emergencies occur often in my home. The Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels are pretty big so you can probably use 10 instead of 12 and save the rest for an emergency situation.
- 1 box of your favorite brownie mix
- 1/4 cup condensed milk or 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 18 caramels, unwrapped OR 12 Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels from Aldi
- 1.5 cups chips – your choice. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, toffee chips, semi-sweet, dark chocolate chips – whatever floats your boat
- 8×8 baking dish
- melted butter or cooking spray to grease the dish
- parchment paper to line the baking dish (optional)
- Powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease baking dish – you can line the dish with parchment paper to make it easier to remove from the pan later.
- Prepare the brownies according to the mix. Stir in 3/4 cup of whatever chips you are using to the mix
- Spread half the mixture on the bottom of the greased or lined baking pan.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
- In a small saucepan add caramel and condensed milk. Set temperature on low to medium-low and stir while caramels melt into the condensed milk.
- Remove brownies from the oven
- Drizzle caramel mixture & remaining chips on top. I dump the caramel mixture and spread it out then top with chips.
- Drop remaining brownie batter on top
- Return to oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until brownie is set. Don’t overbake!
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down. If you try to cut them while hot the caramel will run and it will be a delicious but messy brownie.
- Cut and serve!
- Grease the pan well. These will stick because of the caramel mix. Parchment paper will make it easier to remove from the baking dish.
- I always use milk instead of water when using baking mixes. It just tastes better to me
- I substituted 2 egg yolks per 1 egg when making the brownie mix.
- You can dress these up even more. Drizzle caramel sauce or chocolate sauce on top, add colorful sprinkles or sprinkle with powdered sugar
- I know I said let them cool BUT this is the perfect time to serve them with Ice Cream on top for an insane brownie sundae. Trust me. You won’t regret it.
- Do NOT store in the fridge. They will become rock hard. You can warm them in the microwave.