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Day Sixteen: Gluten-Free with RR Challenge — Caramel Brownies with Pee-cans!

by caroline

Can't you just hear Paula Deen saying that? "Now, we're gonna go ahead and add our pee-cans. Isn't that n-ai-ce?"

Man, oh, man, are these Caramel-Pecan Fudge Brownies tasty.

I was feelin' in the chocolate mood last night, so I decided to Rachael Ray it and find something from her arsenal that would be fit for Day 16 of the Gluten-Free with Rachael Ray Challenge.

If you take a peek at the recipe ingredients, you will see that she also offers toasted pecans, almonds, or other nuts as options for topping the brownies.

I was aiming for a mix of coconut and pecans …

… but then I burnt the coconut and pecans (and that was my last bit of coconut), so I just had to let the pecans fly solo and make another batch. I also made my brownies into cupcakes because I like having little, individual servings of desserts. It's just my thang. (There you are again, Paula!) :)

Here are the details:

RR's Ingredients The G-Spot Used
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chewy caramel candies (20 candies), unwrapped
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray or by brushing with oil. In a medium glass bowl, combine the chocolate, oil and 3 tablespoons water. Microwave at medium power for 2 1/2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the sugar, then the eggs one at a time. Whisk in the flour, cocoa and salt until smooth.

  2. Scrape the batter into the prepared cups. Bake until cracked on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

  3. In a small glass bowl, combine the caramels and milk. Microwave at medium power for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Spread the caramel evenly on top of the brownie cupcakes. Top with the coconut, or topping of your choice, and pat down lightly.

I have one gripe about these brownies: While they are very good hot off the oven presses, the caramel begins to solidify the longer it sits and it becomes a bit tacky. Even after adding the extra milk, I had to get my chew on to gobble up one of these (which is especially tough given my tooth situation).

My opinion? I would save yourself the candy drama and opt for a gluten-free store bought caramel sauce. I've heard Smucker's Sundae Caramel Syrup is gluten-free, but I would definitely do a double check.

Note: This recipe is gluten-free. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)

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Happy weekend! I don't know about you, but I am going to be writing and baking up a storm. I am also hoping to hit up the great outdoors now that the plague has just about left the building, so here's hoping! I start training for the Pittsburgh Marathon relay on Monday and, after a long week of being sick and doing nothing, I need to get my exercise on!

I'm curious: Is there a store-bought version of a food item that you opt to buy instead of making it at home? Sometimes it is just more convenient, right?