First things first, I had a really hard time naming this recipe. As you can see, I went with the (hopefully) most straightforward title possible. Other possibilities included: turtle cups, brownies filled with caramel and pecans, caramel and pecan filled brownies, caramel nut cups, the most insanely delicious dessert I've made in a while — and the list goes on. Obviously most of those were poor choices. Hence: Caramel Pecan Chocolate Brownies. Cups. I still think I need something about the cups... I'm proud of my brownie cups!
In other news, did you know about the Spice Girls? Of course you do. I mean, you probably spent an entire 12+ hour summer vacation drive as a kid listening to their first CD on your discman, right? I know I'm not the only one. Also, videotaping choreographed dance routines to many (if not all) of their songs? Yeah, you did that too. I'm really hoping these tapes never surface. It could be the end of my career as I know it.
Really though, I just stumbled across the Spice Girls wikipedia page (you might ask how I happened to do that, and the answer is I honestly have no idea. Seriously. I just did). HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THEIR PREMEDITATED CAREER?! I'm not sure that's entirely the right term, but I was under the impression they were all friends or something who happened to put on a good show. Boy, was I wrong! It might be time to rent Spice World.
If you were/are/pretend-not-to-be a Spice Girls fan, please educated yourself with the link above. It's highly informative and probably worth your time to know the origin of your all-time favorite band. Who else rocked crazy outfits and made me a living hell for my mom regulating my wardrobe? Mostly just Spice Girls.
Back to turtle cups, or whatever you've taken to calling them. These babies have been cooking up in my brain for a while. I LOVE turtles (the candy). Chocolate, caramel, and pecans. You cannot get better than that! I took Deb's caramel from her salted caramel brownies, combined with my favorite brownie recipe (slightly tweaked), added some toasted pecans, and away we went. The more I make caramel, the more I'm a fan of this dry-start business: it works. Trust the process, follow the recipe, and you'll end up with some really freaking delicious caramel pecan chocolate brownie turtle dessert cups! Can we come up with a longer name?
Never give up on the good times! 😉Print
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅔ cups Dutch-process cocoa
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp espresso powder
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼+ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- For the brownies, preheat the oven to 350 F, and lightly grease a mini muffin tin.
- In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and chocolate chips.
- Once melted, add the sugar and cook for another minute.
- Remove from heat and add the cocoa and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add the vanilla, and then the eggs one at a time. Whisk fully so that the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- In a separate bowl, combine the baking powder, espresso powder, and flour. Add to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the mini muffin cups, about ⅔ full, and bake for 14-16 minutes. The tops should be dry, but still very soft.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely before proceeding.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the sugar.
- Break up clumps as needed, otherwise leave it alone until completely melted. It will be a dark copper color and will take about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, then the cream. If clumps form, return to heat and cook (whisking) until smooth again.
- Once the brownies are cool, hollow out a cavity to hold the caramel and pecans.
- Pour caramel into the cavity, nearly filling it, then add nuts, and top again with caramel.
- Let cool before serving. If caramel cools too quickly during assembly, microwave for 15 seconds, whisk, and continue.