Brownie whoopies with salted caramel buttercream

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I had company coming over a few weeks ago. Guests that were clearly expecting one thing and one thing only: my peanut butter and chocolate chunk cookies. These French guests were completely and utterly won over by the salty sweet treats the first time they tried them and had been requesting them ever since. For this particular visit, no request was made, as it went without saying that there would be cookies. I, on the other hand, was craving caramel and decided to go out on a limb and try something completely new. My gamble paid off and these whoopies were a big hit, although they’ll never replace those cookies that I made again recently in order to impress my temporary colleagues during a kitchen internship. Mission accomplished.

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If you aren’t a fan of peanut butter or if you’re just crazy about caramel like I am, you really should give these a try. I made way too much buttercream and ate it all week long on graham crackers and the such. It was sweet and decadent and just buttery enough, without being overpowering. The brownie whoopies were to die for; everything a browny should be: chewy, crispy, melt-in-your-mouth and packed with rich dark chocolate flavor. I’ll admit, these weren’t the quickest thing to whip up, but the recipe is far from complicated. I can’t wait to make these again when the caramel craving hits…

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Brownie whoopies with salted caramel buttercream
Recipe from Bakers Royale

Ingredients (makes 24 cookies and way too much frosting):
12 oz. chocolate
3 T butter
2 eggs
2/3 C sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 C flour
1/4 t baking powder

1 C butter
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2-1 C caramel (store-bought or homemade, see my recipe here)

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For the brownie whoopies, begin by preheating your oven to 350° and then melting the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. The eggs, sugar and vanilla should be beaten for as long as you can stand to: at least 15 minutes. I definitely recommend a stand mixer here ;) The result should be pale yellow and creamy. Once that’s done, stir in the flour, baking powder and melted chocolate and stir just to combine. Place the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet as you would with cookies. I used two large spoons to form the batter into something resembling a ball and spaced them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the whoopies are just cooked and beginning to crack. Set aside and make the buttercream.

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Beat the butter for a few minutes until it’s well creamed and then add in the powdered sugar and pinch of salt. Continue beating another minute or two before slowly incorporating the caramel. I wanted a stronger caramel flavor so I used much more than the recipe called for and cut down on the powdered sugar. Add your caramel in little by little, stopping to verify the texture of your buttercream and it’s sweetness. If it’s too sweet, add a drop or two of lemon juice.

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Once that’s ready, you can assemble. I tried piping the frosting on at first but that just seemed like a waste of time. Place a small spoonful of frosting on one whoopie and use another to smash it down evenly, pushing it out all the way to the edges. Enjoy with friends, or a tall glass of milk!

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