Yes, you can have your brownie, shortbread and caramel and eat it, too. Wait, that's not how that goes?
1 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
12 ounces individually wrapped soft caramels, such as Kraft
1/4 cup whole milk
10 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Cut 1 cup butter into chunks. In the bowl of a food processor, combine 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and the butter chunks. Whirl until dough comes together. Press evenly over the bottom of a buttered 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Bake in a 325° regular or convection oven until top feels dry and is just beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, unwrap caramels and place in a microwave-safe bowl with milk. Cook in a microwave oven on full power (100%) for 1 minute. Stir mixture, then cook and stir at 30-second intervals until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes longer. Spread caramel mixture evenly over cooled crust and chill until firm, about 20 minutes.
In a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (bottom of bowl should not touch water), stir chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup butter often until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water and, with a whisk or a mixer on medium speed, beat in remaining 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended.
Pour chocolate mixture over caramel layer and use a knife or spatula to spread level, completely covering caramel.
Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until a wooden skewer inserted into the chocolate layer comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, then cut into 24 bars.
This recipe didn't work for me at all. The bottom layer was dry and crumbly, even though I took it out 5 minutes before the recommended time. The caramel layer was completely lost, and the brownie layer was dry and lacked any flavor. I used quality ingredients and followed the recipe exactly.
These are absolutely delicious! Making them is kind of like making three kinds of cookies and putting them together with the three layers, but they are worth the effort. They have made it to my "very favorite recipes" collection, and will definitely make them whenever there is an opportunity.
These by far are the most delicious brownies I've ever made. They take some time to make, but it is worth the wait. I made no changes to the recipe. I did use bittersweet chocolate. Will make again for sure.
My husband and I made these for his work holiday party this year and they were a HUGE hit. They took awhile to make but they weren't difficult- just time consuming. The brownie part was great but I wouldn't say they were any better than a good boxed mix. I think next time I will save myself the time and trouble and will just use a mix.