Don't you just love going with a whim? Sometimes they turn out fabulous. And sometimes they flop.
But throughout the process it's exciting because you really don't know what the outcome will be.
A whim inspired me to make brownies. Then another whim inspired me to turn them into the Ultimate Turtle Brownies.
And today I wanted to share them with you because I'm going to be posting Mothers Day recipes all week. And since I've never met a woman who didn't adore chocolate or dessert, I figured it was appropriate to start with this.
What's more girly than chocolate? Chocolate covered in caramel, that's what. :)
In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter, vegetable oil and sugar.
Then crack in 3 eggs and pour in vanilla.
Here's a little secret that makes some people gasp in horror - I use imitation vanilla. I totally and completely do. I honestly can't tell a difference (unless I'm eating it straight but who wants to do that?). Perhaps one day when I finish my giant 64 oz. jug of imitation vanilla that I procured at Costco one fine Spring day, I'll consider switching. But for now, I'm a baking rebel.
After you've beaten the wet ingredients together, add in cocoa powder (I used dark but use whatever warms your heart), flour, salt and baking powder.
Stir until well-combined.
Then pour it into a oiled pan and top it with caramels that have been cut in half. I used homemade caramels but you could certainly just grab a bag of the standard Kraft caramels.
Bake in the oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes, being sure to leave them a big soft and gooey inside. The actual bake time is a little rough because I totally broke the oven while these were in there. Thankfully, my husband fixed it so the brownies were not lost. It would have been tragic.
While the brownies are baking, candy some pecans by cooking them over medium heat in butter and brown sugar.
Once they've cooled a bit, give 'em a rough chop.
Then unwrap some more caramels and pour in a bit of your favorite creamer. Or you could just use cream.
Then more that luscious sauce over the cooked brownies. Smile. You know you want to.
Top with the chopped pecans.
Dig in. And smile even bigger.
These, my friends, are the best brownies I've ever had. Which was a nice result from the whim because my previous cooking whims had kind of flopped. Oops.
The Ultimate Turtle Brownies
Yields 12 brownies
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. cocoa powder (I used dark)
1 c. flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup caramels, divided and unwrapped
2/3 c. pecan halves or pieces
1 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. sugar
In a large bowl combine butter, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Blend until well-combined. Add in cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder. Blend until well-combined. Pour batter into a oiled 9x13" baking dish and top with about 10-15 halved caramels. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp. of butter and 4 tbsp. of sugar together. Add in pecan halves (or pieces) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, sprinkle with salt and allow to cool. Once cool, give the pecans a rough chop.
Remove the brownies from the oven. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine remaining caramels and enough creamer to create a thick sauce. Once the caramels have melted, pour the sauce over the brownies. Top with candied pecans. Serve immediately.
Store leftovers in the fridge.