Who doesn’t love Kraft caramels!?! We all grew up with those little tan squares of sugary goodness. As delicious as they are, it can some times be a bit of a chore to unwrap them in bulk for when a recipe calls for caramel. And because making caramel is not difficult to make (it just takes patience and an attentive eye so it doesn’t burn), most of my “from scratch” brownie recipes call for making caramel on the stove top. So when I saw the new Kraft Caramel Bits product at the grocery store, I just had to give it a try by creating a new brownie recipe where caramel is the star of the show. Find the closest store near you carrying this new product (or any Kraft product) using the Kraft Product Locator at http://productlocator.kraftfoods.com/kraftfoods/productlocator.htm.

Kraft caramel bits - salted caramel brownies 620 pixels wide

Start by preheating your oven to 375° F.  Lightly grease the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan (I prefer to use butter).

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder. Then set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Add the dark brown sugar, stirring until completely blended with butter. Then stir the flour mixture into the butter. After it is mixed, remove the saucepan from heat and set aside. Note: the mixture at this point will be very dry.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Incorporate the egg mixture into the brownie batter in the saucepan. I like to take hard sourdough pretzels in a double plastic food bag – so if one bag breaks it doesn’t make a mess – and use a French rolling pin to smash them to bits. It’s a great way to let off some steam, too! Then fold in the crushed pretzels and chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Spread the caramel nibs evenly over the top of the brownie batter. Sprinkle sea salt evenly over the caramel.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until set. Let the brownies cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows to make 24 brownies.

So what did I think of the new Kraft Caramel Bits? They are a great time saver – and the salted caramel was heavenly in this brownie recipe. I did notice that the caramel bits didn’t lose their shape during the baking process. Because the caramel is on top, the brownies look like they are covered with caramel pebbles. Not a bad thing, but if you prefer a more traditional look to a caramel topping then I’d recommend melting them first in the microwave and then spreading the melted caramel on top of the brownies.

Enjoy!

Salted Caramel & Pretzel Brownies

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 24 servings

Salted Caramel & Pretzel Brownies

Ingredients

10 tablespoons butter
1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups pretzels, coarsely chopped, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 package (about 2 cups) Kraft Caramel Bits
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9×9-inch baking pan with butter or shortening. Whisk together in a large bowl the cocoa powder, flour and baking soda. Then set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add dark brown sugar, stirring until completely blended with butter. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture. When mixed, remove from heat and set aside. The mixture at this point will be very dry.

In medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Incorporate egg mixture into brownie batter in the pan. Fold in pretzels and chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared baking pan.

Spread the caramel nibs evenly over the top of the brownie batter. Sprinkle the sea salt evenly over the caramel.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until set. Let brownies cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows to make 16 brownies.

http://bakedchicago.com/salted-caramel-pretzel-brownies/