Fran’s salted caramel candies are incredible. They’re so good, even President Obama has listed them as a favorite. So in honor of him visiting Seattle in October, I baked them into a mini brownie and topped ‘em with salted caramel buttercream.
THESE TASTE AMAZING.
The only, well, unfortunate thing about these is that they’re pretty expensive. Here in Seattle, a pack of seven Fran’s caramels will run you about $10. So if you make a few dozen, you’re looking at nearly $50 just for the caramels. So maybe save the Fran’s for a special occasion and stick with a cheaper alternative if you’re watching the budget.
This recipe will make about 3 dozen.
For the brownies you’ll need:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 c. granulated sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 c. flour
about 36 of your favorite bite-sized salted caramels
For the buttercream you’ll need:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 T. heavy cream
2 c. powdered sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
To make the brownies, melt together the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on high heat for 90 seconds. Remove it from the microwave and stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Add in the sugar, and stir until it is well combined. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and salt. Finally, stir in the flour.
Put a teaspoon of brownie batter into paper-lined mini cupcake tins. They should be about half full. Put one caramel in each tin, then cover with another teaspoon of batter so the tins are about ¾ of the way full.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the brownies have set. They will give a little when you gently press your finger into the top of them, but they should not be too soft.
Allow to cool, then make the buttercream!
First, melt the caramel with the heavy cream. You can pop it in the microwave for 30 second increments, until the caramel is smooth. Allow it to cool in the fridge for a few minutes.
Whip the butter for about 30 seconds on med-high speed, so it gets fluffy. Add in about one cup of powdered sugar, and mix until it’s all combined. Once the caramel is cool to the touch, turn the mixer on medium speed and then drizzle the caramel into the frosting. If it’s too hot, it’ll melt the buttercream, so be patient.
Beat until fluffy. Then add in the other cup of powdered sugar and the salt, a ¼ to a ½ t. at a time, mixing and then tasting after each addition to make sure you don’t add too much. A little goes a long way with the salt. Once it tastes the way you want it to taste, frost the cupcakes!
Grate a few chocolate shavings over the top. Fancy!