These Salted Caramel Fudge Brownies just may be the best thing that I have ever eaten. Seriously, what could be better than a soft, creamy, buttery, gooey homemade caramel on a rich, chewy, fudgy brownie topped with toasted pecans? Well, I guess this recipe doesn’t need any more descriptive adjectives so let’s get going and get you some brownies in the oven!
If you are reluctant about making homemade caramel, don’t worry, I’m going to hold your hand through the whole step-by-step process. We can do this together, and you will be so proud of this “Real Deal” Southern Caramel frosting that you can use on cakes, cupcakes or drizzle on ice cream.
How to Make Salted Caramel Fudge Brownies
We begin with making my delicious brownie recipe. I love these brownies. They are my basic go-to brownie. I make them a lot because my family loves brownies. I could probably make them in my sleep. They are moist, chewy, fudgy and they have a delicious shiny crackly top. They are everything that you would want a brownie to be and more!
While the brownies are cooling, we will make the caramel. You’ll need two pots for this process. This method for making caramel is a never fail one. One for the brown sugar caramel and the other for caramelizing the white granulated sugar.
We start with making the brown sugar caramel first. Melt butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in heavy cream, vanilla extract, and light corn syrup.; bring to another boil. Once it has reached a roaring boil, remove from the stove and set aside.
Now it’s time to caramelize the white sugar. This process is a little more tricky, but don’t panic. You can do this. Browning the sugar will need your complete undivided attention. So don’t answer your phone even if your mama calls. Believe me, this has happened to me. I answered my phone and burned the sugar!
Anyway, back to getting this sugar caramelized. In a very heavy saucepan, add a little bit of water, the sugar, and a small amount of cream of tatar which acts as an acid to prevent the sugar from clumping together and crystallizing. Cook on medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved in the water. This will take about 2 minutes. You’ll need the sugar to dissolve completely before we caramelize it. When the sugar is dissolved, turn up the heat. It will start to bubble. Stir with a wooden spoon constantly. The sugar will begin to turn to an amber color. Be very careful, the sugar will be hot and boiling. This part only takes about 5 to 6 minutes. Once it’s a golden amber, quickly remove from heat and add butter and when the butter has melted add the heavy cream. Yay! The hard part is over!
Now we combine the caramelized sugar with the brown sugar caramel. Slowly add the caramelized sugar to the brown sugar caramel and whisk until it’s smooth and silky.
Add a dash of sea salt to give it the delicious taste of salted caramel. Once you have finished the caramel making, you will have delicious, creamy liquid gold caramel.
Here are some photos of the process of caramelizing the white sugar.
Pour warm caramel over the cooked fudgy delicious brownies and top with toasted pecans! You may want to cut them into small pieces because they are super-rich. Pour yourself a tall glass of cold milk and enjoy!
These Salted Caramel Fudge Brownies just may be the best thing that I have ever eaten. Seriously, what could be better than a soft, creamy, gooey homemade caramel on a rich, chewy, fudgy brownie topped with toasted pecans?
For the brownie
- ¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks)
- 4 ounces of baking semi-sweet baking chocolate, divided ( I use Baker’s 56% cacao)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1cup all-purpose flour, (sifted and measured)
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
For the salted caramel
- 2 ¼ cups salted butter (2 ½ sticks), divided
- 1 ¾ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream, divided
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- toasted pecans for garnish
- To make the brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Lining the pan with parchment or foil paper makes it much easier to lift the brownies out of the pan. If you line with foil, spray the foil with vegetable spray and If you don’t have parchment paper or foil, spray pan with a nonstick spray.
- In a heavy saucepan, bring butter, sugar, water, and 2 ounces (half) of the chocolate baking bar to a boil, stirring constantly until the butter and chocolate are melted and the sugar is dissolved; set aside and let it cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs slightly; add vanilla extract and oil to eggs, and gradually add the cooled chocolate mixture to egg mixture. (If your chocolate mixture hasn’t cooked, it can make your eggs cook like scrambled eggs) We don’t want that!
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. And the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture (wet ingredients) Mix just until the mixture is combined. Be careful not to over mix. Over mixing will make your brownies tough. Stir in the remaining chocolate bar, chocolate chips, and pecans. Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 23 to 24 minutes. The center will be a little bit gooey. Be careful not over bake. Set the brownies on a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the caramel: This is a two-part process but hang in there with me because it will be worth the effort. I promise! We will make the brown sugar caramel first. Here we go!
- In a heaving saucepan, melt 12 tablespoons of butter (1 ½ sticks) over medium heat. Add the brown sugar (1 ¾ cups) and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in ¼ cup of the heaving whipping cream, vanilla extract, and corn syrup; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let it cool while you caramelize the white sugar.
- Combine ⅓ cup water and 1 cup sugar in a heaving saucepan. Add ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar. Brown the sugar on medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely, stirring occasionally with a long wooden spoon. This will take a few minutes. The sugar needs to dissolve before you start to caramelize it.
- When you see bubbles start to appear, remove the wooden spoon and turn the heat up to medium-high. Do not stir. When the sugar turns an amber brown, remove from heat and immediately add the remaining ½ cup butter. (1 stick, cut into 1-inch cubes) After the butter has melted, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup cream.
- Add a pinch of kosher salt. About ½ teaspoon. Let the caramel cool for about 10 minutes before combining it with the brown sugar caramel.
- After whipping the brown sugar caramel and the white sugar caramel together, pour over cooled brownies. NOTE: You may have extra caramel. If you do, pour the extra into a jar and keep in the refrigerator. The extra caramel is delicious over ice cream! Garnish with pecan halves and chopped pecans. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. These brownies are rich so you may want to cut them into small bite-size pieces. Enjoy!
Do Ahead/Freeze Tip: These freeze so well. You can freeze them for up to 2 months. They will keep up to 7 days stored in an airtight container.