Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177
degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non
stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm)
rectangular baking pan.
Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan
of simmering water. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the brownie
Meanwhile, in the
bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugars
until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the melted chocolate mixture. Scrape
down the sides of the bowl and, on low speed, beat in the flour and salt.
the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or just until the brownies are
firm to the touch. Remove from oven
and place on a wire rack.
Caramel: Place the
unwrapped caramels and cream in a saucepan and melt, over low heat (stirring frequently),
until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the toasted pecans, making sure all
the pecans are coated with caramel. Spread the caramel topping evenly over the
still warm brownies and let cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate
brownies for about an hour or until the brownies are firm.
Homemade Caramel Topping: In a three quart heavy saucepan, combine the sugar,
corn syrup, water, and salt. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring the
mixture to a boil. Once it boils, stop stirring, and cook the mixture until it
turns a golden caramel color, about 10 - 12 minutes. (Swirl the pan as needed so
the caramel cooks evenly.) Remove from heat and carefully add the cream and
vanilla (the mixture will sputter and steam so be careful). Stir in the pecans
and immediately pour over the still warm brownie layer, spreading evenly. Let
cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate brownies for about an hour
or until the brownies are firm.
Ganache: Place the
chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over
medium heat (alternatively, heat the cream in the microwave). Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the
chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
brownies from the refrigerator and, using a fork, drizzle the Ganache over the
brownies in a zigzag pattern. Cover and refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
Using a sharp knife, cut the brownies into 48 bars.
Store, covered, in
the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, or in the freezer for longer storage.
Makes about 48
Note: To toast
pecans - Bake in a 350 degree F (177 degree C) oven for 8-10 minutes or until
lightly browned and fragrant