This is probably the best mistake I've ever made.
These were supposed to be Salted Caramel Swirl Brownies. But, as it is apt to do, the caramel sauce liquified in the heat of the oven. To be honest, I had a feeling it wouldn't swirl (though I hoped it would magically defy science), and I luckily thought to use unsalted butter as a precaution. As you can see in the picture above, all the caramel rose to the top of the brownies, forming a pool of sticky goodness on the surface and infusing the brownie batter with its glorious burnt sugar flavor on the way.
These brownies came out perfectly. While they are a bit of a melty mess right out of the oven, once they cool, they are dense, fudgy, amazingly chocolate-y, and in the words of David, "fantastilicious". The edges were a bit crispier than they normally would be, due to the caramel bubbling up around the edges, but David and I enjoyed it. I kept the brownies in the fridge to keep the caramel firm, and I have to say, these brownies were amazing on the second day, straight out of the fridge. On the third day, David said, "These brownies get better every day. Like wine, or something."
Salted Caramel Brownies
Adapted from David Lebovitz
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 cups salted caramel sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9x13 inch with a long sheet of aluminum foil that covers the bottom and reaches up the sides. Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with a bit of butter or non-stick spray.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour.
Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan.
Drop one-third of the caramel, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly. Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining caramel in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the caramel slightly.
Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.