I have good neighbors. Actually, I have a great (BIG) family, and some of my family members happen to also be my neighbors. . . Ok, a lot of my family members are my neighbors. Some people actually think we have a commune of sorts, and I guess we kinda do. Friday night I was so thankful for my cousin CJ’s husband, Zach. He is handy with all sorts of things. His son and my two oldest children decided it would be fun to play with the garden hose that was attached to the spicket on the house. They were using it as a horsey, straddling it and pretending to ride. It was cute at first. . . until suddenly, the PVC pipe in the wall broke in half because of their jerking. Yeah, you can probably picture what happened next. Water EVERYWHERE. Water gushing out of the house. And yep, in the house too. I rushed into the basement, only to hear water splashing upon the ground as it soaked our storage room floor. I was more than panicked. I felt sick. CJ put in a quick call to her hubby and within five minutes he was scrambling around the house, helping me get the water cut off. He then fixed our pipe. He rescued us and our basement. There was some water damage, but nothing that hauling out the carpet and a few fans couldn’t fix. I was thankful. He saved me a hefty plumbing bill. To thank him, I made these brownies. CJ told me a while back that he liked them a lot the last time I took them to a party at their house.
This recipe is a hit. I got it from Betty Crocker’s website and adapted it to the GF brownie mix. It is pretty simple and I am not ashamed by the fact that it uses a boxed brownie mix. Thank you, Betty Crocker, for developing a good GF one. If you can’t get your hands on a GF mix, you can always make your own brownies from scratch and just follow the rest of the recipe adding caramel, pecans, and chocolate chips. Here is a good recipe for GF brownies from scratch.
Turtle Brownies (Gluten Free or Regular)
1 Box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix (or a recipe of brownies from scratch or if you don’t need GF , just a regular brownie mix)
butter/oil, water, and eggs called for on mix
2 TBSP whipping cream
25 caramels, unwrapped
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet or I like to use Hershey’s Special Dark)
Preheat oven to 350.
Make brownie mix according to package directions.
Prepare a 8×8 or 9 inch square pan by lining with parchment paper and spraying with cooking spray. I like to leave some parchment hanging over the edges of the pan that can later be used as handles to pull the brownies out.
Spoon 2/3 of the batter into the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Meanwhile, put the caramels and whipping cream in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for about 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until melted.
Pour caramel over partially baked brownies. Sprinkle half of the pecans and half of the chocolate chips on top of the caramel. Spoon the remaining batter on top of everything, smearing it around gently so that it covers everything. It is ok if a little caramel peeks out. 🙂 Now, sprinkle the remaining pecans and chocolate chips on top.
Bake for about 30 min until the top is brown and crackly and the center feels slightly firm to the touch. You can insert a toothpick in the middle but keep in mind that these are intended to be fudgy brownies and the caramel is gooey. So you should have a little goo on your toothpick. If your brownies start to look done on top but not quite in the middle, loosely lay a piece of foil over the top.
Remove from the oven and let sit until cool. I then like to put mine in the fridge for several hours. It makes them SOOOOO much easier to cut into nice serving sizes. I lift the whole tray of brownies out by using the parchment paper handles. Then cut into small servings. These are VERY rich so you don’t want to cut large squares.
I have taken these to baby and wedding showers, given as gifts, and made for teacher luncheons at school. They disappear every time, with people begging for them to be made again. I guarantee you will like these.
Yeah, they really are as good as they look. I’m glad I’m giving this batch away so that I don’t eat them all!