Brownie Doctor: Salted Caramel Brownies

It's a truth universally acknowledged that brownies are the only thing acceptable to make straight from a mix. You can use cake mixes for cake, but only if you do something other than the box directions to it. But brownies? If you get a nice brownie mix... They can actually be good. Like, really good. Of course, nothing in comparison to the Baked Brownie, but totally fine for when you want to quickly whip something up. And it's even more acceptable if you use a Brownie Doctor hack.

We've done most of the hard work for you, and compiled a bunch of recipes of things you can do to brownie mix to take them to the next level and impress everyone you give them to.

This one involves making salted caramel sauce, swirling it in the brownies and then make salted caramel ganache. And lemme tell you. It's delicious. Super dark chocolate with just a hint of salted caramel to make it deeeee-lux.

Notice how the ganache layer is just as thick as the brownie layer. That is how it should be.

Ganache is the best topping for brownies. Especially when they're both super chocoalte-y and fudgy and caramel-infused.

Have you ever done anything to make your box brownies even better? We'd love to hear any ideas you've had!

-Audrey

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Salted Caramel Brownies

1 batch brownie batter, either from your favorite recipe or from a box

1 recipe salted caramel sauce (recipe below), or your favorite store-bought kind

1 batch chocolate ganache

Mix up the brownie batter and pour into a greased 8x8 pan, and then swirl with half of the salted caramel sauce. Bake according to package or recipe directions (they could take a little longer). While baking, prepare the ganache and then mix in the rest of the salted caramel sauce and when the brownies are cool, spread the ganache on top and let them cool. (Put them in the ridge if you're impatient). Then store them in an airtight container either at room temperature or in the fridge if you want them cold.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Yield: 1 cup
Ingredients:
•    1 cup granulated sugar
•    6 Tablespoons salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces
•    1/2 cup heavy cream
•    1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1.    Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
2.    Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
3.    Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
4.    Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
5.    Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
6.    Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
7.    Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
8.    Cover the caramel tightly and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe.

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)

1/4 cup heavy cream

Put chocolate chips in a small bowl.  Bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan.  Pour cream evenly over chocolate.  Let stand for one minute to soften, then stir until smooth.  If frosting is too loose to spread, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, frosting will continue to thicken as it stands.

Caramel Sauce from Sally's Baking Addiction; Ganache from Joy the Baker