Poke Turtle Brownies
I am usually not a huge fan of nuts in things, like desserts and breads. I prefer to eat nuts right out of the bag or in a trail mix. And I am somewhat picky about which nuts I like. I really do not like pecans or walnuts, either plain or in a trail mix. These brownies happen to be an exception to that.
When I decided to make these brownies, I choose to make them with nuts like the recipe called for, otherwise it would not be turtle brownies. Now I do like the turtle candies, but then again the nuts are covered in a massive amount of caramel, which kind of lessens the nut taste. Come to think of it I do not mind nuts in candy.
Anyways, back to the brownies. So I decided to make the recipe with nuts, even though there were nuts in the brownies and on top (too many nuts for my taste). I was pretty sure everyone was going to love the brownies except for me and it would be because of all the nuts. However I have to say after one bite I was in love! These brownies were so delicious and I did not mind the nuts at all.
Poke Turtle Brownies
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped and divided
1 1/4 cups caramel sauce, divided
1/4 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2-4 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until incorporated after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add this mixture to the batter and mix just until combined. Fold in the 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup chopped pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread into and even layer.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Take the handle of a wooden spoon and poke holes all over the brownies. Evenly pour 3/4 cup caramel sauce over the brownies and use a spatula to spread the caramel sauce into the holes. Refrigerate the brownies for 1 hour to let the caramel set.
Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate frosting. In a medium bowl beat the butter, cocoa powder, corn syrup and vanilla until well blended. Add in the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk and beat until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time to reach desired spreading consistency.
Once the caramel has set spread the frosting over top in an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup chopped pecans over top and 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips. Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 cup caramel sauce.
Refrigerate to allow the frosting to set and making cutting easier.
*Adapted from Carls Bad Cravings.