Brownies are like that little black dress you reach for again and again – always reliable, sophisticated and absolutely irresistible. Add a layer of salted caramel sauce with a hint of cinnamon, and you quickly take the classic brownie to new heights.
If you like, scatter chopped pecans or cashews over the caramel layer. I took the purist route and left the brownies unadorned, because it doesn’t get much better or more satisfying than chocolate, caramel, and plenty of flaky salt.
Salted Caramel Brownies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup flour
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 6 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- flaky salt (for topping)
- Preheat oven to 325°F and line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Place melted butter, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir the mixture until combined – the texture will appear granular at this point. Stir in vanilla; add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each one. When the batter is thick and shiny, add the flour and stir until completely incorporated, then beat briskly for 40 more strokes.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth with an offset spatula; gently tap pan once to remove air bubbles. Bake for 24 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
- While the brownies bake, make the caramel sauce. Combine brown sugar, butter, and heavy cream in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter has melted completely. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, and cinnamon until smooth. Pour sauce into a glass jar and chill for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Drizzle cinnamon caramel sauce over warm brownies. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Just before cutting, chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Carefully lift parchment and place bars on a cutting board; use a sharp knife to trim away raised edges, then cut into squares (wipe knife clean as needed). Sprinkle brownies with flaky salt before serving. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days.