I’ve had a few people in the past week or so ask me to make caramel brownies. I love these brownies but I don’t make them very often. They’re not difficult to make, they just have the extra step of making caramel.
If you look online, most recipes will tell you there’s no need to make your own caramel. You can use packaged caramels and melt them down either by themselves or with some evaporated milk. But there’s just something about those recipes that make me think the brownies will be cloyingly sweet so I always make my own.
But last week something went terribly wrong. Did I add too much or too little of an ingredient (there are only four!)? Did I walk away for 30 seconds too long? I don’t know. But what I ended up with was a giant ball of hardened sugar that could not be melted down. I wish I had taken a picture of the mess before I dumped the whole thing straight into the garbage can.
After that disaster, I cleaned out my saucepan – I didn’t ruin it as I had suspected – and started again. I made sure all the ingredients were measured and ready and I didn’t take my eyes off the pan. This time it came out beautifully; richly fragrant, deep caramel color, and easy to cut into bite size pieces.
I bet you’re wondering … what’s your POINT? Get to it already. So here it is.
There’s always space to screw up, start over, and try to improve. And if someone tries to tell you there’s not, that’s your cue to move on.
I know I have a lot to learn, that’s part of the fun. Even if sometimes the whole thing has to be dumped in the garbage before I can start over.
½ cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cream (I eyeball this)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Place a piece of parchment paper on top of dish (any regular dish will work), and spray with cooking spray.
Pour the sugar into a saucepan over medium heat. Let it melt, stirring frequently.
When the sugar is liquid and all the lumps of sugar have dissolved, move it off the heat and add the butter. Keep stirring until the butter is completely melted.
Move the pan back onto the heat and add the cream and salt, stirring constantly.
When the liquid is a deep caramel color, remove it from the heat and pour it onto the prepared parchment paper
Place the dish in the freezer; caramel should be solidified and ready to cut in about 20-25 minutes.