Mother’s Day is approaching, so naturally I’m thinking of gifts I can get for my mom. But for me, it can be hard to get a gift that even comes close to showing my appreciation for how much my mom has done throughout my life. If we’re lucky, we grew up with moms who created warm and welcoming homes for us kids. Filled it with love and laughter. Kindness and strength.
My mom was a pillar of strength. As a single mom, she worked full-time so that my sister and I could have a great life; so we could do dance class on Monday, acting on Tuesday and Thursday, basketball in the winter, and softball in the spring. So that we could get those sparkly jeans from Limited Too and as much gimp as we could braid. And after a full day of work, she’d come home and cook a homemade meal for us. Followed, almost every night, by cookies or brownies.
My mom created a warm and welcoming home in many ways, but one of those was by having brownies and cookies on repeat. Something was always coming out of our oven, and 9 times out of 10 it was some sort of baked good. It was her way of quelling her insatiable hunger for dessert, and for my sister and me, it meant love, care, and sweetness.
So for Mother’s Day this year, one of my gifts will be a batch of these caramel brownies, topped with Ghirardelli Chocolate SQUARES. These cocoa brownies are fudgy and rich, just like how my mom used to make them, but I’m adding my special touch by topping with Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel & Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel filled SQUARES.
Ghirardelli SQUARES are the perfect way to elevate these brownies and make them an extra special gift
With over 160 years of chocolate-making experience, Ghirardelli has established its position as America’s premium chocolate company. They control all steps in the chocolate-making process to ensure every SQUARE is the highest quality, which is especially important when creating an edible gift such as these cocoa brownies.
The smooth melting chocolate and luscious caramel filling in itself is like a present. I also love indulging in these SQUARES after a long day or simply on their own. They make life a bite better 🙂
Tips for making chocolate caramel brownies
These caramel cocoa brownies are super easy to make, but you should keep these tips in mind:
Break up any clumps of brown sugar — Brown sugar has a tendency to clump up as it sits in your pantry. If you notice any sugar clumps in your brownie batter, squish them with your fingers or the back of a fork. You don’t want to chomp down on a piece of pure sugar when enjoying these caramel brownies!
Slightly under bake the brownies — For the fudgiest possible brownies, you should slightly under bake these babies. You’ll know when these caramel brownies are ready to be taken out when a knife inserted into the middle of the pan comes out mostly clean.
Wait a few minutes before adding the SQUARES — The trick to getting the Ghirardelli SQUARES to stick to the brownies without melting too much is to let the brownies cool for 15 minutes first. This way, the brownies are still warm enough to melt the chocolate slightly without being so hot that they melt the chocolate completely.
I hope these caramel brownies will remind her of how much she did for my sister and me, and how much her baking meant to us. And mom, since I know you’re reading this, sorry in advance your Mother’s Day gift is no longer a surprise. I love you!
9 Ghirardelli SQUARES, either Milk Chocolate Caramel or Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Remove from microwave, stir in sugar, and melt both for 30 seconds.
Stir again and melt for 60 seconds more. Remove mixture from microwave and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Once cooled, place into large mixing bowl and add in eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Last, fold in cocoa powder and flour.
Pour batter into a parchment lined 8″x8″ pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes before lightly pressing 9 Ghirardelli SQUARES into the tops of the brownies. The squares will magically melt just slightly so that they stick to the tops of the brownies 🙂 Cut into 9 brownies and serve!
Keywords: crowd pleaser, chocolatey, decadent, rich, chewy, easy, the best