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Monday, 22 February 2016

Fabulous Caramel-filled Brownie Petit Fours

In my opinion, a 'petit fours' should be small, beautiful and delicious - and typically look like a mini cake.  Often petit fours are coated in a glaze or frosting on the outside, but they don't need to be.  I created this recipe for my son's 10th birthday.  He took some to school and we had some (many) for home celebrations, too!  They were a great success!  They're wonderful at room temperature, but we soon found out that if you warm them up just enough that the frosting starts to melt, they turn themselves into a delicious version of a molten chocolate cake.  Such fun!  Enjoy!

Caramel-Filled Brownie Petit Fours that my son took to school to share on his birthday.  

Fabulous Caramel-filled Brownie Petit Fours
Makes ~24 two-layered petit fours

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together in a large bowl until smooth (a spoon or whisk will work fine):
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Add and mix in until smooth:
4 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar

Mix in gently, just until combined:
1 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Pour batter onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
Don't worry about pushing the batter all the way to the edges.  It will spread naturally during baking and fill the pan.
Bake at 350 F for ~18-20 minutes.  Place pan on a wire rack.  You can either slice immediately into small squares (2" - 3" depending on the size you'd like) or cool completely and then slice into squares.  I have found waiting until the brownies are cool gives a sharper edge to the squares.
I cut 6 x 8 squares, with little edges left over for snacking.
Allow brownies to cool completely.  While brownies are cooking, make a small batch of caramels, as follows:

Homemade Caramels: 

Butter one 8"x8" pan.

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, combine:
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup whipping/heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
pinch salt

Cook until caramel reaches 234-235 F on a candy thermometer.  Immediately remove from heat and mix in:
3/4 tsp vanilla bean paste OR vanilla extract

Pour caramels into buttered 8 x 8 pan and set on wire rack to cool.

Once brownies are completely cool and caramels are mostly cool (they can be a little warm to assemble and it's fine), prepare one batch of my Chocolate Marshmallow Fluff Frosting.

To assemble, place a brownie on a new piece of parchment paper.  Pipe chocolate frosting around the edges of the top of the brownie square.  Cut and place a square of homemade caramel in the center of the brownie, inside the frosting (this keeps the caramel in nicely).  Top with a 2nd brownie square.  Pipe a little swirl of frosting on top.  (I had a little extra white marshmallow fluff frosting, so I did swirls on the tops of a few of them).
Brownie squares with a piping of frosting and square of homemade caramel between.  
Chocolate two-layered petit fours are the in the back of this photo.  They were so pretty and delicious, too!

You can serve immediately or store in a closed container.  These can be stored several days in the refrigerator.  Allow them to come to room temperature before serving, or heat them up a little, just until the frosting is melting, for more of a molten-chocolate cake type dessert.   Enjoy!!!!
Chocolate & Vanilla/raspberry (recipe to come) petit fours served with extra caramel warmed up and drizzled overtop! 
One happy birthday boy (and his equally happy sister)! 

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