6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp, cut into tablespoons
½ cup heavy cream, room temp
1 to 1½ teaspoons sea salt (I used a finely-crushed pink Himalayan sea salt and it was fantastic!)
For the brownies
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
flaked sea salt, for garnish
Make the caramel
In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar on medium-high 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 a dark 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 and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Make the brownies
While the caramel is cooling, preheat oven to 350°F. Heavily grease a large skillet with butter and set aside.
In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Once combined, fold in cocoa powder and flour.
Pour a little over half the brownie batter into the baking dish, spreading evenly to the edges. Pour 1/2 of a cup salted caramel over the brownie batter, spreading evenly but not quite to the edges. Spoon the rest of the brownie batter over the top, sealing as much of the caramel in as you can! If a little pops out, that’s OK.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before drizzling with more caramel (use your discretion, you don’t need to use it all up) and topping with flaked sea salt!