I left my last post as it was, short and sweet, just like my little love herself. But I just want to add a little something here first about the last few months...
I had naively thought that when I started my maternity leave I would have oodles of time to potter about doing the things I love, to craft, bake and blog, a nice little holiday from life before life went ahead and changed. What really happened was, my days got booked up with outings and visitors, in between which I started nesting, read - crazily trying to get our rented house in order - and taking three hour long naps every day... I barely had time to complete my to do list, never mind do anything else! Then, when Elsie arrived I was (still am probably) in such a little bubble of love and joy, hanging with my new little family... learning how to be a mama and getting to know my daughter... that nothing else really seemed to matter. However, we've recently started to settle in to a routine, have Elsie and me, and I find my self with a little time every day to spend as I like, so when I'm not napping or half heartedly tidying, I've been finding my way back to those things I love, finding my way back here. One last thing before the we get to the important part of this post, you know the delicious, delicious brownies, the topics I write about may (will) also be changing, there might (will) be some more mama and baby related stuff going on, after all my world does currently revolve around being a mama to a beautiful baby girl.
Now on to the chocolatey goodness...
These brownies are the desert equivalent of a lazy Sunday afternoon after a long week. The cozy kind when you snuggle up on your sofa, there are usually lots of blankets and pillows involved too. You watch cheesy films and trashy TV, discuss all the most important totally unimportant things and laugh so much, enjoy long luxurious naps on and off all day, and eat all the best/worse kinds of delicious and naughty snacks. It's the kind of comfortable, enjoyable day that is a bit naughty and not at all productive, but that is, despite the calories and the laziness, oh so good for the soul. These brownies are just like that, naughty and in no way healthy, but fun, comforting and sooo delicious. You just can't help but feel happier after eating one. Rich, gooey, filled with salted caramel, and topped with thick crunchy salty crisps (chips for my American friends) peanut buttercups and M&Ms. They are in fact perfect for those cozy Sundays... or for Saturdays... or Fridays... or any other day really, so embrace your inner couch potato and treat you and your loved ones to a batch of yummy coziness!
A few notes... the brownie base is my favourite recipe which can be found here, you should use the very thickest crinkle cut crisps you can find as they'll stand up better to the moist brownie, and due to the crisps these really are best eaten on the day they are made, (the next day at a push) and not that impressive if frozen, so if you are making these just for yourself (no judgement here) think about if you really want a whole tin of them!
375g dark chocolate
375g soft butter
225g plain flour
1tsp table salt
50g thick crinkle cut salty crisps crushed slightly
100g peanut butter cup pieces
100g chocolate M&Ms
100g Twix pieces
Put the oven on gas mark 4/180 degrees C and line an 11x15inch tin with baking paper.
Cut the butter in to a few lumps and break up the chocolate in to small pieces, put both in a heavy bottomed pan over a low heat to slowly melt.
Mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla together in a big jug.
When the chocolate mixture is all melted together, leave it to one side to cool for a while then stir in the egg mixture followed by the flour and table salt.
Pour just over half of the brownie mix in to the prepared tin, top with the caramel sauce, sprinkle over the sea salt flakes and half of the snack pieces then cover with blobs of the rest of the brownie and bake for between 45-60 minutes depending on your oven and how gooey you want your brownies (being pregnant at the time of making, and knowing that our oven is rubbish I went for the full 60 minutes plus an extra 10 although I would normally go around 50) remembering that they continue to cook a little even when removed from the oven.
As soon as the brownies are removed from the oven scatter over the remaining snack pieces and squash them in to the surface of the brownie. Then use the baking paper to remove the brownie from the tin and leave to cool, before cutting in to pieces, makes 20-30 depending on how greedy you're feeling ;) Now grab that pile of blankets, a good friend or two, a TV box set and enjoy your brownies!
Just throwing this out there, but how good would chocolate coved crisps be in this, only one extra step, OR, how about pretzels or frazzles or, OR... twigglets?!? Yes! Next time I make these that is happening, in fact, I might up the salt based snack profile and add more than one kind of savoury topping!
So how do you feel about salty and sweet together? What's the oddest combination of the two that you've tried?
Hope you have a wonderful week,