Chocolate chip technology hasn’t changed that much over the decades, meaning that a chocolate chip cookie that you bake this weekend probably looks almost exactly like the ones that your grandmother baked you back when you were a kid. Recently, however, chocolate chips have begun to change and you can now buy chips in a variety of flavors and chips made from premium chocolates. One of the most impressive is a line of filled chips from Nestle. Their Tollhouse Delightfull baking chips are larger-than-average chocolate chips are filled with sweet centers that add a new layer of flavor to your average chocolate chip. I particularly liked their Milk Chocolate Caramel Delightfulls and used them as the inspiration for a batch of Salted Caramel Chip Brownies.
These fudgy brownies are packed with those caramel-filled chocolate chips, creating pockets of sweet caramel throughout the whole batch of brownies. The chips hold together very well during baking, keeping the caramel nicely contained and preventing it from oozing out into the surrounding batter. The dominant flavor is still chocolate in these brownies, of course, but you can taste the buttery burnt sugar notes of caramel as you savor a square. I sprinkled coarse sea salt (I highly recommend Maldon salt, if you happen to have it, for this particular recipe) over the brownies just before baking. The salt not only sets off the caramel a bit more, but it makes the chocolate seem even more intense and decadent by contrast.
Since the chocolate chips have a milk chocolate base, I use only unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder in these brownies. This gives the brownies themselves a rich bittersweet flavor and really helps to set off the milk chocolate, without making the whole treat overly sweet. If you want even more sweet and even more caramel, drizzle a little bit of melted caramel or caramel sauce over the top of these brownies before serving them. They’ll be a little bit messier to eat, but you’ll get even more salted caramel goodness in each bite.
Salted Caramel Chip Brownies
1/2 cup butter
2-oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup Nestle Tollhouse Milk Chocolate Caramel Delightfulls
1/4 – 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small microwave safe bowl, melt together butter and chocolate in the microwave. This should be done in 30-second intervals to avoid overcooking the mixture. Allow butter to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa power and the cooled butter mixture. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, followed by the salt and vanilla extract. Whisk in the all purpose flour and stir until flour is just incorporated and no streaks remain. Fold in caramel-filled chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow brownies to cool in the pan, then lift the foil to easily remove them before slicing.
Makes 16 brownies.