On her Food Network show last weekend, Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond made something called “Knock You Naked Brownies“. They involved a German chocolate cake mix made into a thick batter, packaged caramels, and chocolate chips, all layered together, and they looked and sounded delicious. I wanted to make them, but I wanted to make them my own…and besides, unwrapping a billion caramels did not sound like my idea of fun…so here’s my take.
I started by caramelizing a can of condensed milk to make dulce de leche. Most recipes call for you to do this in the can, but this (a) takes forever; and (b) can be a little risky-if you let the water level get to a point where it isn’t completely covering the can, it can explode. Not worth the risk…so I found this page that told me how to make it in the microwave. I made the dulce de leche and let it cool for a while.
Next, I made brownies from this recipe that I found on 100 Days of Real Food. Lisa, the blogger, is one of my inspirations for trying to avoid processed food. These brownies are made from whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, butter, and maple syrup (and a few other things)! I doubled the recipe, and spread 1/2 of the batter in the bottom of an 8×8 pan lined with foil (parchment would work too). I baked them at 350 degrees for 8 minutes to set them a little.
Next, I spread the dulce de leche on top of the brownies….as you can see, it was a little messy. These brownies weren’t meant to be prim and proper, though, so that’s okay!
Since I always figure if some “extras” are good, a lot of extras are great, I had to add some shredded coconut to the mix. I had about half a cup so I just used it all.
The next step was a cup of chocolate chips….
And finally, a cup of chopped pecans.
The final layer was the rest of the brownie batter. That was the hard part. PW shaped hers into a square on her counter, then lifted it off the counter and placed it on top of the pan. Apparently, her batter was a lot thicker than mine! I tried to do that on a piece of waxed paper then turn it over on top of the pan and sort of “peel off” the paper-and it was nearly disastrous! I made it work, though.
I baked it for another fifteen minutes. This is what it looked like when it was done. We ate super-late last night because Philip didn’t get home till almost nine, so we didn’t eat them until tonight.
Um, yeah….they were fantastic. Ooey, gooey, sticky, super-dark, extremely moist-almost more fudgey than brownie-ey….and they didn’t come from a box! Mmmmmm. Make them!