photo by Alexandra Grablewski

Turtle Brownies

The base batter for these brownies is one I have been using for years and I love it because it’s dark, moist and fudgy. You don’t have to make the nutty caramel topping but of course if you like over-the-top desserts (like I do!), go for it!

Makes 16 brownies

 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for the baking dish

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ cup water

24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

5 large eggs

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1 ½ cups sugar

2/3 cup light corn syrup

6 tablespoons water

Pinch of salt

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 cups pecan halves or pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with butter.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Remove from the heat and add half of the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth.
  4. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Gently mix into the chocolate mixture and when blended, stir in the remaining chocolate chips and the vanilla.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center of the brownies feels just firm. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Meanwhile, make the topping. In a heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup, water, and the salt to a boil over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring and let the caramel cook until it turns golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the cream and vanilla. The hot caramel  may spatter when you add the cream, so wear oven mitts and stand back. This is not a task for kids.
  9. When the caramel stops bubbling excessively, stir until smooth, and then stir in the pecans.
  10. Spread the topping over the brownies in an even layer. Let cool and then cut the brownies into 16 squares.

[These are from my last book: The Family Kitchen]

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