Caramel brownies recipe made from scratch with chocolate caramel hearts on top for a cute Valentine's day dessert for two.
I call dibs on that center brownie with the oozing caramel heart. You can have the rest.
Wait wait, I want a corner piece, too! I choose the lower right--though it's the smallest, it has another oozing caramel heart.
The way to my heart is oozing chocolate caramel hearts, did you know?
The hunt for chocolate heart candy for caramel brownies:
More fun facts about me: I spent 30 minutes in Target last week sorting through every brand of chocolate hearts to find the prettiest one for brownies. I spread all of the bags out of the floor, and then went down the row, googling them one by one, to see what they looked like unwrapped. If you were one of the people that I scared away from coming down the Valentine's Day candy aisle, I am so sorry. It's clear now. The crazy lady is gone--you're free to go back to Target now.
After intense research, I settled on the Hershey's brand caramel-filled hearts. I'm a bit of a Valentine's Day candy expert (<--click for proof!), and I believe this is the first year Hershey's has made these hearts. Or, at least it's the first year for the new heart design. A heart within a heart, oh so romantic! You won me over.
The runner-up was a Nestle crunch heart. Okay okay, maybe it was only the runner-up because I ate most of the bag on the way home from the store and didn't have enough to make these caramel brownies.
There are Butterfingers hearts and Reese's peanut butter hearts this year, too! You have so many options to make the cutest heart brownies! What a time to be alive, people!
Okay, I'm going to leave you with the recipe for these caramel brownies. You guys love my small-batch brownies recipe so much, that you always ask if you can double it and bake it in a 8x8-inch square pan. And the answer is YES!
I thought I would give you the recipe I use when I'm making brownies in this size pan. The recipe comes from Inspired Taste. I modified it to use the microwave to make it even easier and quicker.
It tastes very close to a boxed brownie mix (which, let's be honest: major plus), and I can't get enough of the crackly top.
Here, the chocolate hearts get in the way of the beautiful crackly brownie surface, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
Because chocolate caramel hearts are the way to my heart. I think we went over this.
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 9 caramel-filled chocolate heart candies (I used Hershey's caramel hearts)
- Preheat the oven to 325, and make sure an oven rack is in the lower third of the oven.
- Line a 8x8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper in two directions, overlapping. Leave enough excess to make handles so it's easier to pull the brownies out once they're baked.
- Next, in a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder.
- Microwave for 30 seconds, stop and stir, and microwave for another 30 seconds. The mixture will be quite hot.
- Let the mixture rest on the counter for a few minutes to cool, stirring occasionally.
- When the mixture feels warm, not hot, stir in the vanilla and salt. Finally, stir in the eggs.
- Add the flour to the batter, and using a spatula, vigorously stir the mixture for 50 strokes. This activates the gluten and makes for a rich, chewy brownies.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan evenly.
- Bake for 23-26 minutes, until the top is dry.
- Unwrap the chocolate caramel hearts, and press into the top of the brownies evenly. Slice and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 591mgCarbohydrates: 84gSugar: 33gProtein: 8g