Brownies topped with salted caramel peanut topping

OMG OMG OMG make these today. I mean really, get up and make these brownies now. They are crazy, insane good. Found on Smells like home blog, as soon as I saw them I put them on my next to bake list. These are heavenly!


For the Brownies:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tbsp boiling or very hot tap water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

For the Praline Topping
1 cup pecans (or honey roasted or salted peanuts)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup firmly packed golden (light) brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat  the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9″x13″ baking pan with aluminum  foil, leaving several inches hanging over the short ends of the pan.   Grease the foil with butter or cooking spray.
In a large metal  bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate  and stir until the chocolate and butter have completely melted.   Alternatively, you can melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave in  a microwave-safe bowl on medium-high for 30 second intervals, stirring  after each interval, until the chocolate and butter have melted  together.  Stir in both sugars.  Add the eggs and vanilla all at once  and stir until the batter is smooth and shiny.  In a small bowl, combine  the espresso powder and the boiling water; stir into the brownie  mixture.  Stir in the flour and salt – do not overmix.
Pour the  batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it evenly.  Bake 20-30 minutes,  until the brownies have just begun to shrink away from the sides of the  pan.  Do not overbake; the brownies should be slightly wet inside.  Cool  completely, about 1 hour at room temperature or 15 minutes in the  freezer.  Leave the oven at 350 degrees F.

To make the praline topping:
Arrange  pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for 7 to 9  minutes, until golden brown and aromatic.  Break the nuts into large  pieces.  If you’re using peanuts, you can skip this step.
In a 2  1/2 quart saucepan, combine the cream, brown sugar, butter, and corn  syrup and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth and the  butter has melted.  Bring to a slow boil; boil without stirring, about 6  minutes.  (If the mixture starts to boil over, you’ve set the heat too  high.  Turn down the heat a notch.)  Remove the mixture from the heat  and let cool, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the vanilla and pecans or  peanuts.  Pour the topping over the cooled brownies, spreading it with a  knife or spatula to cover evenly.
Let the topping cool at least  15 minutes at room temperature.  Lift the brownies, still in the foil,  out of the pan.  Cut them into small 2-inch squares – these babies are  rich.  (I used a round cookie cutter to cut mine)


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