My Graham Cracker...and a Brownie

. Today started out...let's just say...not on the greatest note.  It was -1° when I got to work and my cell phone rang as I entered the building.  It was my boyfriend and lo' and behold, I had forgotten to leave the car keys for him.  After a cold, snowy, windy trip BACK to the house and BACK to work, I sat down at my desk and tore off the page from my desk calendar (a regular tradition that occurs every morning!).  Grumpy as all get out, February 1st rang a tiny little bell in my head.  And then it hit me.
It's my baby boys', the most perfect puppy in the entire world, BIRTHDAY!!  All I can say is that I had a smile on my face the rest of the day, because February 1, 2010, Graham (cracker) was born!  If you know me AT ALL, you know that my three puppies are the loves of my life and Graham has a very special place in my heart.  Yes, that too-cute-of-a-face below is my Graham cracker (oh, and you can bet that I came up with his name from brainstorming baking ingredients!).

Graham the Birthday Boy!

As an ode to my favorite little birthday boy, who LOVES peanut butter (just like his mama!), I decided to post something with a little bit of everything that's unique to this day.  Hence, say hello to one of THE best brownies you will ever have the pleasure of placing in your mouth: Chocolate Brownies with Caramel, Peanut Butter and Pecans.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite baking books I own, "More from Magnolia."  It's a collection of recipes from the infamous Magnolia Bakery in New York City and one bite of these brownies will explain it all!  This decadent brownie begins with a graham cracker crust, a thick layer of caramel, peanut butter chips, and pecans, and topped with a thick, moist, chocolatey brownie.  Really?  C'mon.  As my first posted recipe, I hope you enjoy every morsel! .

Chocolate Brownies with Caramel, Peanut Butter and Pecans

2-1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
Caramel Filling:
1 lb. vanilla caramels
1/4 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. coarsely chopped pecans, toasted    
1/2 c. peanut butter chips

1/2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1-1/2 c. sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. To toast pecans, heat oven to 350°F.  Place pecans on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant.
  2. For crust, keep oven heated at 350°F.  In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.  Press firmly into ungreased 13x9-inch pan.  Set aside.
  3. For filling, in medium-sized saucepan over low heat, melt caramels with cream, stirring occasionally, until smooth.  Remove from heat and pour over crust.  Use spatula to spread evenly.  Sprinkle pecans and peanut butter chips over caramel.  Set aside.
  4. For brownie, in small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In medium-sized saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth.  Remove from heat, transfer to large bowl and allow to cool 5 minutes.  Add sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and beat well.  Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Pour batter over filling to completely cover.  Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs (do not over bake).
Yield: 24 brownies

1 comment:

  1. Awww! Happy birf-day Graham!! I'm glad you have 3 fur babies--and am totally jealous--Cooper needs a buddy!

    So, what are you baking this weekend?! Any superbowl themes!!


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