In honor of National Brownie Day: brownies topped with a homemade coconut caramel sauce and drizzled with chocolate!
So for those of you that don’t follow me on Instagram (which you should and we should be friends), yesterday I posted a gram of these babies and said how excited I am. Excited why? BECAUSE TODAY IS NATIONAL BROWNIE DAY. I’m not sure who to thank for this glorious day of recognition of the best baked good out there, but to whoever you are: thank you.
I’ve loved brownies since I was a kid. To me, they are perfect. Chocolatey, fudgy, rich, and filling. Brownies don’t mess around. They’re like the dog of the dessert world. Almost everybody loves them, they’re outgoing, and they come in all shapes and sizes. They may not be the most complicated beast, but they sure make you happy every time you see them.
Now, does everyone remember those beautiful Girl Scout cookies with a shortbread crust, caramel coconut top, and fudgy drizzle? Everyone has their favorite Girl Scout cookies, and these were always my sister Rebe’s. We were off and on Girl Scout in elementary school, and I can say think it was mostly for the cookies.
Every year we would buy at least 6 boxes of cookies, 2 for each of us. My mom was all about the Peanut Butter Patties (/Tagalongs? What’s with that?), I was obsessed with Thin Mints, and my sister was the Queen of Caramel deLites. She was the smallest child, yet could eat Caramel deLites BY THE TENS. And she happily did throughout growing up. In addition, we’d totally have a box of Lemon Pastry Cremes for once everything else ran out.
So these are for you, Rebe! You can bet I’ll be making these for you over Christmas!
And I apologize for so many brownie posts in the last few weeks. I just can’t contain my excitement. Don’t worry, I’ll get to holiday cookies very soon (hello, Wednesday post!).
For the brownies
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate disks
- 1 teaspoon brewed coffee (optional)
For the coconut caramel
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp, cut into tablespoons
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temp
- 2 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
For the chocolate drizzle
- 1/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
Make the brownies
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8"x8" baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and optional coffee. Once combined, fold in cocoa powder and flour. Toss in bittersweet chocolate disks.
- Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish, spreading evenly to the edges. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before topping with caramel sauce.
Make the coconut caramel
- While the brownies are baking, make your coconut caramel. In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to occasionally stir the sugar, getting to the bottom of the pan. At first the sugar will be lumpy, but will soon melt and start turning a brownish color. Don't stir too often, just enough to keep everything evenly cooking.
- After 5 minutes, the sugar should become fully melted. Once it becomes an amber hue, remove from heat immediately and stir in butter. The mixture will violently bubble. You're doing it right.
- Use your spatula to stir the butter and sugar until they melt together completely. This can take 1-2 minutes.
- Next, pour in the heavy cream and sea salt. You can use 1 to 1½ teaspoons, depending on how much saltiness you like. Use your spatula to stir until everything is combined. Place back on the stove for about 30 seconds, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut flakes. Set aside until brownies are cooled.
Assemble the brownies
- Once the brownies have cooled for 15 minutes, run a knife along the edges so they don't stick to the pan. Spread the coconut caramel on top of the brownies. Again, run a knife along the edges to prevent anything from sticking to the pan.
- Heat the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30 second increments. Stir in between each heating.
- Spoon melted chocolate into a small ziplock bag, creating a makeshift pastry bag. Cut a small (tiny!) slit at the bottom corner of the bag. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the coconut caramel. Set in the fridge to cool for about 1 hour. Cut into 9 brownies and serve!