Hi there, welcome back! What I’ve got to share with you today is guaranteed to knock your socks off! And anyone else you choose to share these little bites with. 🙂 Salted Caramel Brownie Cups. Oh yes, you heard that right.
I was inspired to whip these up when I saw mikebakesnyc’s fudgy brownie crinkle cookies on instagram. They looked so dang good — and are amazing on their own — but I wanted more. Plus I had some left over caramel sauce that needed to be use. Necessity = all the baking!
So I decided that I would turn these delightful brownie cookies into magical brownie cups to hold all that delicious caramel filling. Sprinkle of sea salt on top, and voila! The perfect bite.
How to make Salted Caramel Brownie Cups:
So lets get down to business. These salted caramel brownie cups won’t make themselves! (oh how I wish)
The first step is to melt the chocolate and butter together. I recommend using a microwave for this step, as it is easier and faster. Plus you dont have to boil water for a double boiler situation.
Don’t have a microwave? (what are you living in the 18th century?) Then you can of course use the double boil method.
The trick with the microwave is to keep an eye on the chocolate and butter and heat just until they come together. I only needed to heat them for about a minute before stirring and setting aside. Each microwave is different though, so just keep an eye on it.
I also recommend using really good chocolate for this recipe. There is very little flour in the recipe, so you are reliant on the flavor and texture of the chocolate to come through. I recently picked up some bitter sweet Guittard Chocolate baking wafers from whole foods and oh-my-gosh. These are change your life good. You can find their chocolate at whole foods, target (sometimes) and online.
So once you have your chocolate and butter mixture, you want to whip the eggs and sugars together until they are light and fluffy. This will ensure that the eggs are emulsified and blend well with the batter. Add in the chocolate/butter, fold in the dry goods and you’re ready to bake.
Don’t wait on the baking either. This batter is not meant to sit around and chill — literally or figuratively. I used a 1.5 Tbsp scoop to put the sticky cookie dough in my mini muffin tins, but you can also use a tbsp measure as well. Once you have your dough in the pans, its off to the oven for about 15 minutes. The brownie cups will be done when the outer edge is set and the tops are slightly domed and dry to the touch. Don’t over bake!
In order to make them look like cups, its best to allow them to cool for a few minutes before using the back of a tsp measuring cup to make a indent in the tops of the brownies. Then allow them to cool completely before filling with the amazing caramel sauce!
Oh for the sake of caramel!
Caramel can be one of those things that make you feel like a hero one moment and then a zero the next. Don’t worry though, this recipe for a thick and glossy caramel filling is *nearly* full proof.
The trick is to not walk away from the pan. Don’t even think about it. It’ll take 10-15 minutes of your life. Stand there and trust the sugar.
Also, put down and spatulas, whisks or other utensils (once the sugar is dissolved). You want to leave it alone until it is a deep amber color so that you don’t get any sugar crystals in your caramel. Just swirl the pan gently once it begins to color.
Once it’s at the color that you like — light to deep amber. Remove it from the heat — very important — remove it from the heat and then stir in the butter, cream, and salt. It will hiss and spit at you, but that’s all in good fun.
Allowing this caramel sauce to cool before use is also very important. It will be pour-able at room temp, but if you want to make it ahead (can be done 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge) you can either microwave it in short intervals to make it pour-able or let it come to room temp for about an hour.
So that’s all folks! Super easy, with a few complicated steps. Just how I like my recipes. 🙂 But in all seriousness, if I can make these salted caramel brownie cups, you can too! They are sure to wow all your friends. 🙂
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Salted Caramel Brownie Cups
Brownies and cookies collide with salted caramel in these little cups of heaven. Super easy to make with a definite wow factor!
- 7 oz dark chocolate chopped
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder unsweetened natural or dutch-processed
- 1 tbsp black cocoa powder see notes
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
Filling: Caramel Sauce
- 1½ cups sugar
- ⅛ tsp. cream of tartar
- 6 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter cut into pieces
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- garnish: flaky sea salt
To make the Brownie Cups:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease mini muffin pans liberally with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until combined, then set aside.
Place the butter and chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in your microwave for about 1 minute. Stir and continue to melt in 30 second bursts until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, whisk together the eggs, sugars, and vanilla for 5-6 minutes on medium-high speed.
With the mixer on, pour in the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Sift in the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until just combined.
Using a 1.5-tbsp cookie scoop (#40), drop dough into mini muffin pan.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes. The brownies will be soft but set around the edge. Allow them to cool in the muffin pan for a few minutes and then use the back of a tsp to create a indent in the middle of the brownie (so they look like cups) Allow the brownie cups at least 15 minutes to cool before removing from the tray to cool completely.
To make the Filling:
Bring sugar, cream of tartar, and ⅓ cup water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-low, stirring with a heatproof spatula until dissolved. Cook, swirling pot often but not stirring, until mixture turns deep amber and wisps of smoke rise from the surface, 8–10 minutes.
Remove caramel from heat and immediately stir in butter a piece at a time until smooth (be careful; mixture will sputter). Gradually stir in cream, then add salt. Transfer caramel to a heatproof measuring glass (you should have about 1½ cups). Let cool until warm.
Pour any amount you like into the cooled brownie cups. Sprinkle with sea salt.
To store brownie cups: place in an airtight container for up to 3 days. For the caramel: cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. freeze for longer storage.
Brownie recipe adapted from mikebakesnyc brownie cookies
Caramel Filling recipe from bon appetit salted caramel chocolate tart