Friday, April 1, 2011

Salted Caramel Nutella Brownies


Is it just me or has something been a little off the last few days?

I can't put my finger on it but I have just been getting a weird vibe, and odd things have been happening.

Work has been totally insane - or more specifically, the people I encounter at work have been insane.  I don't even want to get into it, so you'll just have to trust me on that.

But even at home, it's been a bit strange...

For instance, I came home from work a couple days ago to find the police parked in front of my house, "helping" a very old & very inebriated gentleman remove himself from my neighbor's lawn.

Nothing like getting sassy on a random Wednesday afternoon, and stopping for a little nap in the grass on your walk home!

Then yesterday evening, our living room ceiling started leaking water out of nowhere.  A huge patch of ceiling became saturated & discolored in a matter of minutes, and was dripping from all different parts.

Our landlords have a plumber coming to fix it and I'm sure it will be totally fine but... ahh!

Probably weirdest of all though is that my husband has not been sleeping.

Now I know a lot of people have this problem - but for Mr. V, it's like the cosmos have come to a screeching halt and turned his life upside down.

Typically, he sleeps like a rock... on tranquilizers... that's been hit over the head with a frying pan.

However, the house we recently moved to is on a bit of a busy street, and he's been having trouble sleeping with the sound of the passing cars.  So the slightest movement from me now wakes him up. 

Like... the sound of the lightswitch on the lamp.

??

Seriously.  I don't even know this man.  For years, not only could I turn off the light, I could probably unscrew the lightbulb and throw it at his head without him noticing a thing.

So now with his newfound problem, he's been setting up a sleeping bag in the only room in our house where you can't hear traffic driving by outside - our (large) closet

Which means I get to step over 7 layers of sleeping bags & random blankets in order to get to my clothes in the morning.

Crazy, I tell you.  Just crazy.

What's also crazy is that I have never put together Nutella, brownies, and salted caramel before this week.

On Monday I bought a fresh jar of Nutella at the store and was contemplating what to make with it.  I decided on brownies, and I found a good recipe on Noble Pig for Peanut Butter-Nutella Brownies.

But I was shooting for a more Nutella-y brownie, so I replaced the peanut butter with more Nutella.

Because I can.

Surprisingly, though, the Nutella flavor is still fairly subtle.  Maybe it's overpowered by the salted caramel (that was a complete afterthought)?

But who cares.  They're fudgy, rich, gooey, and absolutely delicious.

I need something to keep me sane in this mad, mad world!

Salted Caramel Nutella Brownies

  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 1/2 C. unsweeteend cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1 stick (8 T.) butter, melted
  • 3/4 C. + 2 T. sugar
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C. Nutella spread

Caramel Glaze

  • 1/4 C. heavy cream
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 2 T. butter, cut in pieces
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt, divided

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 square pan (or you may line with foil & grease, if desired - will make it easier to serve later after glazed).  In small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In large microwavable bowl, melt butter in 20 second intervals, stirring after each until smooth.  Add sugar & vanilla, and whisk until well-combined.  Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.  Add cocoa mixture and whisk until fully combined. 

In glass measuring cup or other microwave-safe bowl, melt Nutella in 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth and pourable consistency.  Stir into batter.  Pour into prepared pan and bake 27-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Allow to cool completely, then make glaze: in small saucepan over low heat, warm heavy cream - do not boil.  In separate medium saucepan, combine sugar & water but DO NOT STIR.  Place over medium-high heat & bring to a boil.  Cook until mixture turns an amber color, but not too dark that it looks like the sugar is burning.  (For me this took 5-7 minutes, but keep an eye on it.) 

Remove from heat and add warm cream, butter, and 1/2 t. kosher salt.  Stir gently until smooth & well combined.  Pour over cooked brownies, tilting the pan to coat.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 t. kosher salt.  Allow glaze to set before cutting/serving.

Brownie Recipe Adapted from Noble Pig; Caramel Glaze Slightly Adapted from Pioneer Woman

62 comments:

  1. I have been scraping the last bits out of my jar of nutella recently... and mmm salted caramel. As an aside, I used to live in a super creaky house, near a busy street, with roommates and what helped me immensely was a sleeping noise machine. Put on Waves #4 and I was out like a light. Couldn't hurt to try?

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  2. It looks very lovely and sounds yummy. Sorry about your ceiling. We had to contract for work in our downstairs bathroom out of necessity not choice and we aren't happy. Seems as soon as we save up another two months of salary, BAM, there it goes for a home repair or replacement.

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  3. Good grief these look absolutely decadent and are making my mouth water! The brownie looks incredibly fudgey and that salted caramel is out of this world looking. Delicious!

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  4. Salted caramel AND nutella in a brownie? Could these sound any more decadently delicious! This combination is an awesome idea :)!

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  5. obviously anything with nutella is amazing. but also with thick set caramel?? omg. speechless.

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  6. Wow! You had me at Salted Caramel! And then add nutella to that and I'm in heaven... How good do these brownies look! I'm sure one bite makes you forget all about the leaking ceiling and the husband in the closet! Hope things get more 'normal' for you soon! :) I love your blog!

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  7. I think I just fell in love with you and this brownie! YUM!! I need to make this ASAP!

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  8. Oh.WOW. These look absolutely amazing! I think these may be the next brownies I make.
    If you like these then you should check out the caramel bacon brownies I made, I think you may enjoy them :) http://bethmichelle.com/?p=352

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  9. I had to laugh at the image of Mr. V sleeping in the closet. Poor guy. My guy sleeps like crap every night. They can sympathize with each other. Haha! You had me at brownies. I'm in love with the thought of these! Yummy!

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  10. Hi - saw the brownie on foodgawker and had to come over and read this recipe - will be checking out the rest of your site. Is there a way to just print the recipe for future use - when you do printer friendly you still get the whole page of narrative - and while I enjoyed that immensely - for the sake of ink and paper and space in my recipe binder - I don't want that to print. Any thoughts?

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  11. Just had a half hour to browse some recipes - now there is like 6 I want to print LOL - and I don't have time to look at more - by the time I get done reading your blog - I will have to kill a ream of paper!

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  12. Woohooo...I'm running to the store RIGHT NOW to buy everything I need for these brownies! Nutella and salted caramel - AMAZING! Thanks for the recipe.
    Dana @ D'Lea Designs

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  13. Oh,my! I think I'd eat anything covered in that salty caramel! What a fabulous brownie~

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  14. Oh nutella most certainly keeps me sane. It's probably the only thing. It's deliciousness grounds me. These look amazing!

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  15. I hope the brownies put you back on track. They look delicious!

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  16. Caramel, Nutella, salt...brownies... love yoU!
    I'm jotting this recipe down and giving it a go real soon!

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  17. Are you sure that the caramel shouldn't have some corn syrup in it? I have tried this twice and the caramel just isn't working. Brownies are really good.

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  18. Im with you, things have been off. I can't explain it - but off.

    These brownies look spot on though. I love the salted caramel on top.

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  19. Hi Spinderella, the original recipe from Pioneer Woman had gelatin in in - but her readers were having "varying results," so she suggested omitting it. I didn't have a problem, but if you describe what's happening when you try to make it maybe I can help you! (PS you can also email me at vittlesandbits@gmail.com)

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  20. I am drooling over here over your brownies. They look delicious and perfect. Great job! I posted a Nutella recipe too. This was my first jar of it ever...but it won't be my last. I don't like it when things get weird around the house. We've had times like that too over the years when there are an abundance of things going on that are just not normal. I've learned "this too shall pass" but it's a pain until it does. Here's hoping that things return to normal for you quickly! Have a beautiful Sunday, Candace

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  21. These brownies sound absolutely amazing and would definitely send me to my "happy place". Hopefully your husband starts getting better sleep, sans closet, soon! =)

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  22. You had me et nutella:))) Looks amazing and delicious, and beautiful!!! I Loveeee the whole thing!

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  23. Ugh. Darn salted caramel over nutella brownies...my thighs will not thank me for this! Come pop by my blog sometime, www.icantstopcrafting.blogspot.com

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  24. My office has been begging me to bake something to bring in...I think this will be it! Thanks for sharing. (I found you through Tastespotting--beautiful photo!)

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  25. Holy cow, these look amazing! I've been craving brownies, need to try these :)

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  26. Hopefully things get back on track soon!

    These brownies look amazing! I wouldn't be able to keep them in the house because I'd eat the entire pan!

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  27. Mmmmm..Mmm!! That caramel glaze looks so amazing! I am definitely adding this to my "must bake" list! :)

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  28. Ok! This is getting bookmarked!!!!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

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  29. yay, salty treats! this looks seriously great! thanks for sharing, lots of love happening for this and all your posts :)
    -meg
    @ http://clutzycooking.blogspot.com

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  30. Oh dear, these look absolutely delicious!

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  31. YES! Things have been off! (For like a week in my life!). But I think that things are back on now :D. These brownies are heavenly! I love salt and chocolate AND salt and caramel! The combination of all three... with NUTELLA! Genius!

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  32. hi! these brownies looked so amazing that i tried them out this weekend--they tasted wonderful, but once the caramel set it was so hard to cut through the brownies (because it was so chewy). Did I do something wrong, or was that how it was supposed to turn out?

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  33. Hi Hayley, the caramel is in fact very gooey... I cut all the brownies in the pan at once and I noticed the next day the caramel sort of melded back together. I didnt find them difficult to cut though - the knife went right through. Ree @ Pioneer Woman recommended lining the pan with foil so you can just pull out all the brownies for cutting, maybe that would help?

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  34. Oh yum! I bet that those are beyond delicious! I hope that things start to settle down for you.

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  35. that looks like the perfect caramel glaze! mmmmm

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  36. Your brownies look so pretty! The fact that they are filled with nutella makes my day. I hope the rest of your week is more normal than the first few days!

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  37. Love the stories of all your crazy happenings! :) So funny! And this brownie... well, don't even get me started. Honestly. That is perfection!

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  38. Just stumbled across your blog thanks to the picture of these incredible brownies on Tastespotting. Loved the hilarious recount of your poor husband's sleeping problems, especially the part about how you can usually throw the bulb at his head without waking him! Thanks for the recipe inspiration and the great laugh :)

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  39. this looks amazing!!! and the sound of the flavours remind me of one of my favourite desserts in bei restaurant in beijing, the miso guanaha chocolate. salty and sweet

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  40. I'm back :) I'm featuring those delicious brownies today. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe. I know my readers will enjoy it. I'd love for you to stop in if you get a chance. Have a great day.
    Katie

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  41. Holy Cow......How did I miss this post? Heaven....simply put....heaven.One of my new obsessions (I have many) is Salted Caramel the put it on a brownie........*drool*

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  42. Just tried making the caramel (the brownies are fine) but it doesn't work.
    First of all... after having the sugar/water combo on the stove top for 10 minutes without any change in color (just clearish white) I gave up and tried putting the cream and butter in there.
    Now it's just a leaky mess, smelling of butter and sugar :(

    Not good at all.

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  43. Hi there Andrea, I'm sorry the caramel did not work out for you. The water & sugar cannot boil indefinitely without turning into various stages of candy, so the only thing I can think is that perhaps you did not have the heat up high enough. If it's still clear, it will not yield the right consistency. Pioneer Woman has photos of how it's supposed to look: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/05/salted-caramel-brownie/

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  44. Wow! Those are my favorites! Brownies and Nutella! I'm sure that combination rocks! :)

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  45. Yummy treat! Thanks for the recipe! I'm sure my family will enjoy this.

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  46. That thick layer of caramel is what sold me. Wow! I want to make them NOW.

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  47. OMG these are amazing. Need to make them very quickly!

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  48. Just discovered you via Foodbuzz, and judging by these brownies you and I are going to have a very good food-bloggy relationship. I'll let you know how I get on with them!

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  49. I made these tonight for a dinner party/wine drinking party and they were a hit!! The caramel got a little chewy and sticky because it had been an hour since I made the sauce, so I think next time I'd like to try making the sauce right before serving so it's gooey and runny. :) These were AMAZING and so easy! Thanks so much, I've never made caramel before! :)

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  50. tasty! love nutella and caramel(together at last!)

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  51. Hi! I'm your newest follower! I found you at I heart naptime! These brownies sound yummy!

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  52. wow, this is incredible. i have to try this recipe, it's the best nutella recipe i've seen so far. i cannot WAIT to try it, thank you sooo much for sharing! =]

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  53. this stuff made me crave for more sweet and salty foods. i just love them :)

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  54. okay i saw these on pinterest and can i just say.. oh. ma. word. i will be getting a jar of nutella on the way home and making these TONIGHT.

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  55. This one really looks delicious. I cannot wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

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  56. These were awesome! It was my first time making caramel, and it was really easy. Granted I put the heat at a lower setting. I just need to be more patient next time and let the caramel set.:)

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  57. OMG these sound amazing - I have a slightly unhealthy (or very unhealthy) addiction to Nutella. Awesome job..I will be trying these. :)

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  58. It's the rain, and no sun!

    These look good.

    I could make them take some excederin and then have 1 piece.

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  59. Made these last night and they're delicious...very decadent! Thanks for sharing!

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  60. These look amazing! I'm making these for a get together tomorrow afternoon. I've got the brownie part in the oven right now, and I'm planning on doing the caramel in the morning.

    I was wondering--the ingredients say 1/2 teas. divided, but the directions say 1/2 teaspoon in the caramel and the remaining 1/2 teas. sprinkled on top. Is it really 1 teaspoon divided, or should the directions say 1/4 teas in the caramel and 1/4 teas sprinkled on top? I'll err on the cautious side and do the 1/4 t. 1/4 t. split.... There's nothing quite as dangerous as experimenting with a new recipe for company! Thanks for sharing!
    Angela

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  61. They turned out!! The 1/4 t.-1/4 t. split worked well! My guests and family really enjoyed these!
    Angela

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I love reading your comments!

If you have a question or problem you can also feel free to email me at vittlesandbits@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting :)

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