Lo and behold, I got a huge surprise when I asked Bryan, "what sweet do you want Erika to make?" and he practically screamed, "TURTLE BROWNIES!!!"
It was like one of those Christmas home videos where a kid opens the present of their dreams and starts to act eerily similar to a mental patient. Screaming, jumping, whooping and hollering, all in the name of some immobile action figure or streamer-laced bicycle. Minus the jumping, Bryan was similarly passionate about the idea of turtle brownies.
So Erika, being the slight overachiever that she is, took on the task of making – from scratch, mind you – not just brownies, but TURTLE brownies. That means slaving over a homemade caramel, pecan topping and even a chocolate ganache drizzle. When she emailed and said she was on her second batch of homemade caramel because the first one hadn't turned out so great, I felt terrible. I had visions of hot sugar burns in my head, but thankfully, that didn't happen. A week later, Erika stopped by with the world's great batch of brownies. And while I have a tendency to exaggerate, this is no exaggeration. These brownies are like crack, and while time-consuming, I've gotten them down to a two-hour relay, start to finish. If you're not a fan of nuts, I've substituted the turtle topping for Trader Joe's mini chocolate peanut butter cups. Equally delish for the peanut butter fanatic.
Here's the recipe and some photos. I've said it before and I'll say it again, these brownies are like food porn. Enjoy.
- 2/3 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup H2O
- 24 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (separated into 12 oz)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flour – unsifted
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) light corn syrup
- 5 tablespoons water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (200 grams) pecan halves, toasted
Chocolate Ganache Drizzle
- 2 ounces (55 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I forgo the chopping and just use semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream
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 but be careful as it will boil over quickly). 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 and silky. Remove the 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 bars (however big or small you want!).
Store, covered, in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, or in the freezer for longer storage.