Salted Caramelies

by Jillian
Incredibly moist and chewy squares bursting with caramel and frosted in a salted caramel frosting! A caramel version of a brownie!

Incredibly moist and chewy squares bursting with caramel and frosted in a salted caramel frosting! A caramel version of a brownie!

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It took me a while to come up with a good name for these richly dense squares of caramelicious heaven.

Other than “Richly Dense Squares of Caramelicious Heaven”…

Undeniably moist and ultra dense, they’ve got the same exact texture of the perfect brownie. However, with absolutely no chocolate or cocoa in the recipe, I couldn’t call them brownies.

Brownies

So how about brownie’s sister, blondie? While a blondie doesn’t usually contain chocolate/cocoa (other than chocolate chips), technically blondies rely on brown sugar for their iconic butterscotch flavor. This recipe, however, contains absolutely no brown sugar, nor does it taste butterscotchy.

Blondies

Cake bars? 

Nope.

Cookie bars?

Nah…

So what does one call these then??

CARAMELIES!!!

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That’s it!

SALTED Caramelies!

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These caramely squares were actually inspired by an old favorite brownie recipe of mine. Unlike most brownie recipes which use either melted chocolate or cocoa powder, this recipe used chocolate syrup as the chocolate component. Sounds a bit odd I know, but if you ever get the chance to try out my Chocolate Wasted Brownies (highly recommended), you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried chocolate syrup in your brownies sooner.

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Having tried these chocolate syrup brownies with great success, I wondered…why not try it with caramel syrup instead?

It had to work!

And just imagine how AMAZING it would taste. 

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Unsurprisingly, the results did NOT disappoint. They had all of the flavor and richness of a soft, chewy caramel, and the texture of a dense, thick brownie. These caramelies were definitely WAY more than a cookie bar and not at all like a blondie.

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To add to the mouthwateringly sweet joy of these caramely babes of perfection, I frosted them with a generous amount of salted caramel frosting. It’s that salty sweet combo that really takes these guys over the edge. You’ll be amazed at how the little bits of salt liven up these caramelies, almost igniting your tastebuds with every single bite.

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I would highly HIGHLY recommend lining your pan with parchment paper when making these. Being that there’s an entire cup of caramel baked into these squares, they tend to be on the stickier side.  Parchment paper not only allows you to lift the caramelies out of the pan and cut them more easily, but it also won’t stick as much to the paper as it would to the bare pan. So no short cutsies!

Salted-Caramelies-abajillianrecipes

Incredibly moist and chewy squares bursting with caramel and frosted in a salted caramel frosting! A caramel version of a brownie!

Salted Caramelies

Incredibly moist and chewy squares bursting with caramel and frosted in a salted caramel frosting! A caramel version of a brownie!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 43 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 13 minutes
Servings 16 Squares

Ingredients
  

Caramelies:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup caramel syrup*
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Caramel Buttercream:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
  • cup caramel syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling

Instructions
 

Make the Caramelies:

  • Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line an 8x8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper* making sure to leave extra overhanging over the sides so you can lift the caramelies out once they've baked. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the flour and continue mixing. Add the caramel syrup, egg, cream cheese, salt and vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 40-43 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Make the Buttercream:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, caramel syrup, and salt, blending on low speed just until combined. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time, mixing between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the vanilla. Increase mixer to high speed for about 1 minute and blend until buttercream is fluffy and lightened in color.

To Assemble:

  • Using a knife or an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the caramelies. Lightly sprinkle the coarse salt over the top.
  • Holding the ends of the parchment paper, gently lift the caramelies out of the baking dish and onto a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve.

Notes

*I used Hershey's Caramel syrup.
*I highly recommend using parchment paper rather than just spraying the dish with nonstick spray. The parchment allows you to lift the brownies out of the pan and cut them more cleanly without them breaking apart.
*It helps to refrigerate the brownies for about an hour before cutting into them since they can be kinda messy.
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