Thick, fudge-like dark chocolate brownies, glazed with a rich pumpkin caramel frosting.
How was your Christmas? Did you have a wonderful day celebrating?
Christmas Day was really nice here, and Nate and I had a great time celebrating with each other and some of our family! (We really missed all y’all who we weren’t able to see this week!!)
However, the fun was kinda cut a little short at our house at least, due to me dislocating an upper rib on Saturday. Of course it would happen on a Saturday, when my chiropractor’s office is closed! So I spent the weekend at home, with my head locked at a downward slant, not being able to move my head or shoulders, praying that Monday would come fast! You would’ve thought I had a neck brace on, with the range of motion I had this weekend! I just have to tell you tho, I am ever SO thankful for my amazing husband Nate, who is just the best at taking care of me…he took care of everything this weekend, carried my purse at the mall when it was killing my neck, picked up everything I needed off the floor, drove me where I needed to go, and helped me stand up when I literally could not make it up to my feet on my own. He’s just the best!
Our Christmas morning selfie:
I can’t tell you how thankful I am that my chiropractor was able to slide the rib back into place again on Monday, and it feels so freeing today to be able to tilt my head back to finish a glass of water or to lift the hair dryer up above my head!!
Another thing that helped me through this weekend? These:
I mean, that frosting….just wow.
I made the frosting using Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Caramel Sauce as the flavor base, which is A-MAZING you guys. I’m pretty sure it’s a seasonal item, so run run run to Trader Joes and snag a couple bottles of this sauce before it’s gone, if you haven’t already stocked yourself up at home, like I did! It tastes like a heavenly holiday party in your mouth, and is the perfect compliment to these brownies!
So, the DL on the brownies: First of all, just like the majority of my baked goods on Sunny Side Ups, you may use regular All-Purpose Flour, or for the gluten free version, you can use Better Batter’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. It’s the best flour blend I’ve ever found to match regular, wheat based flour in taste and density. It’s my go-to flour for gluten free baking!
Secondly, unlike most brownie recipes out there, this recipe uses ONLY dark brown sugar. You know that irresistible light crackly top that most brownies have? That crackly top is made by using white granulated sugar. That crackled top is awesome and wonderful and oh so yummy….except when you want to spread frosting all over the top! Do you know what I mean? The way that the frosting knife picks up the crackly brownie top while you’re spreading and just tracks it all throughout the frosting layer can be frustrating at the least, right? So I just decided to avoid tracking specks of the brownies through my frosting in this recipe by just eliminating the crackled crust! Hence, dark brown sugar only. And you’ll love the result: thick, hearty dark chocolate fudge-like brownies, just asking to be topped with a decadent drippy frosting!
Start with your robust dark chocolate fudge brownie base. Add that drizzly gooey pumpkin caramel frosting layer on top, and you’ve got the perfect party-in-your-mouth exclamation point dessert to finish off the last week of 2014! Happy New Year!!
- ½ cup Butter (1 stick), cut into pieces
- 8 ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped (I used 8 ounces from Trader Joes Pound Plus 72% Dark Chocolate Bar)
- ¾ cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour OR Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- PUMPKIN CARAMEL FROSTING:
- ⅓ cup Pumpkin Caramel Sauce (Trader Joes)
- 1 cup to 1 and ⅓-cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- FOR THE BROWNIES
- Prepare an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch baking pan by lining with aluminum foil, leaving overhang on each end. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Set oven rack on the lower third placement inside the oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small saucepan on the stovetop, melt Butter and Dark Chocolate over low to medium heat, stirring constantly. As soon as the chocolate and butter are completely melted together and smooth, immediately remove from heat, and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
- Whisk brown sugar into cooled melted chocolate until completely incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla, and whisk very well to mix. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, stir in flour and salt until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Transfer brownie batter into prepared baking pan, and spread evenly.
- Bake for 28-31 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
- TO MAKE THE FROSTING
- Combine Pumpkin Caramel Sauce, 1 cup Powdered Sugar, Milk, and Salt in a medium mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, begin mixing on low for about 1 minute, gradually increasing mixer speed to medium/high for an additional 2-3 minutes, until frosting is very smooth. If desired, add up to an additional ⅓-cup of powdered sugar for thicker frosting.
- Pour frosting over cooled brownies, and spread evenly.
- Cut into bars and serve immediately, or store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Makes 16 bars.
Once you’ve tried these brownies, you’ve gotta come back and try out these! Yum!