Chocolate Caramel Almond Crunch Brownies

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whole grain
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: One 9" x 13" pan of iced brownies, about 24 servings

Recipe photo

Sweet or salty? Chocolate or caramel? What's a baker to choose? Happily, this recipe combines all of these flavors into one amazing, decadent, satisfying treat so you can have all of your favorites in one bite. Choose your favorite brownie recipe, melt some chocolate, add some nuts, smoky salt and you are ready for a trip to Nirvana!

Chocolate Caramel Almond Crunch Brownies

star rating (5) rate this recipe »
whole grain
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: One 9" x 13" pan of iced brownies, about 24 servings
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

Almond Crunch Topping

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar, turbinado or raw sugar
  • Maldon Smoked Sea Salt, to taste; or substitute your favorite sea salt

Brownies

  • one 9" x 13" pan of baked, cooled brownies, your favorite recipe

Browned Butter Caramel Icing

  • 3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions

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1) To make the Almond Crunch Topping: Combine the melted chocolate with the almonds. Stir gently until nuts are well coated. Spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with the Demerara sugar and the smoked salt. Break any overly large salt crystals up with your fingers as you sprinkle.

2) Set the tray of sugared/salted chocolate nuts aside to firm up. Once the chocolate is firm, crush the topping by pulsing in a food processor, or in a zip-top bag with a rolling pin or other heavy object.

3) Make a 9" x 13" pan of your favorite brownies. Fudgy, cakey, or in between, whatever you wish. A sturdy chocolate cake will also work well for this recipe. Bake and cool completely.

4) To make the Browned Butter Caramel Icing: Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Continue to cook the butter until the milk solids begin to brown and the butter turns a golden color.

5) Add the brown sugar and salt and cook over low heat until boiling. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes. The sugar should be completely dissolved at this point.

6) Take off of the heat briefly, and stir in the milk. Return to the heat and bring the mixture back to a boil. Remove the pan and shut off the heat.

7) Pour the mixture into the bowl of your mixer, and cool to lukewarm. Stir in the vanilla.

8) Beating on low speed, add the confectioners' sugar in stages. Increase the speed to high and beat until the icing is lighter in color and texture. This icing will have a satiny feel, not fluffy like buttercream, and will still be slightly warm to the touch.

9) Spread the icing on the brownies and top with the almond crunch topping, pressing it down gently into the icing. Serve warm, or chilled.

Yield: about 24 brownies.

Reviews

1
  • star rating 11/28/2013
  • mntypythn3077 from KAF Community
  • I was worried about the almond crunch topping since my boyfriend and I didn't really like it on its own, but once it was on the sweet frosting it was perfect. I went low and slow on the burner with the butter and sugar and it came out great. I did have a little trouble with how thick the frosting was and couldn't really spread it on, but had to pat it on with my hands. I think it was because I let the butter/sugar mixture cool too long.
  • star rating 03/01/2013
  • MrsBee from Vermont
  • Made these for my coworkers and they were a big hit! I used the KAF Fudge Brownies recipe for the brownies (which is also delicious). This recipe is a great way to spruce up plain brownies and make them into a presentation worthy treat!
  • star rating 12/19/2011
  • Sue from New Hampshire
  • These brownies taste fantastic!!! They're very rich and delicious.....we cut them into little squares and eat them with a fork like little cakes. Perfection! I was a little intimidated by different reports about the frosting....so I was cautious and didn't brown the butter. Even so, it was fantastic tasting. I also went really light with the "salt to taste" part of the topping. I could have added more. (I probably used only a teaspoon or so of salt, if that.) Don't be afraid....make this recipe....you will LOVE it!
  • star rating 09/17/2009
  • Alison from CT
  • These were great, but you need to be careful on the frosting. My first batch of frosting, I actually browned the butter so by the time the brown sugar was added and brought to the boil the caramel was too dark and tasted burnt. Second time I merely melted the butter then proceeded as directed. Fabulous flavor as is, no brown butter required. Rave reviews of my co-workers. This recipe is a keeper!
  • star rating 08/08/2009
  • Miri from Texas
  • I took these brownies to a potluck with lots of other desserts and they went like hotcakes. The icing is like potato chips. You just can't quit eating it.
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