As someone who thinks about food almost constantly and someone who also has a great memory (a trait Ben does not always find endearing, by the way), it is only natural that I remember most of my friends’ individual food preferences. I seem to have a catalog in my mind with each friend and their likes, dislikes, etc. Several months ago I was at a get together and someone brought salted brownies from Trader Joes. My friend Andrea (who also happens to be the wonderful wife of my fab art director Ryan) was all about those brownies and asked me to recreate them. I filed that request away in the catalog and waited for just the right brownie recipe, and then the perfect opportunity to make them.
Last weekend for the first time in what seems like forever, and in truth what has been at least three or four months, we had a weekend with zero plans and zero commitments. I checked to see what Ryan and Andrea were up to and the next thing we knew, we were enjoying the sunny weather while the kids played in with the sprinkler, slip n’ slide, and water table. (And these sweet peeps with this handsome little man joined us as well. This kid is too cute for words.) Due to the short notice, my options for contributions to the menu were limited but I was able to bring a layered mediterranean dip and these brownies for dessert.
Now as much as I love sweet and salty desserts, those Trader Joes brownies were tooo salty for me, so I was pretty nervous about these. There is salt in the caramel, in the brownie itself, and then sprinkled on top (mixed with a bit of coarse sugar). Thankfully I found these to have that perfect balance, and everyone else seemed to agree. We were semi-jokingly fighting for leftovers. The caramel sauce is layered with the brownie batter but rather than form a distinct layer, it seeps into the batter to produce a super fudgy brownie infused with caramel undertones. These are a great choice to bring to a casual get together – a universally loved treat with a touch of sophistication to set them apart from the boxed variety.