- 12 graham crackers, crushed (preferably whole wheat, like Whole Foods' 365 brand)
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
Caramel (from Smitten Kitchen's recipe):
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter (half a stick)
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- pinch of sea salt
Brownies (adapted from Smitten Kitchen's One-Bowl Brownies Recipe)
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter (3/4 stick)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1/2 cup pecans (optional)
First, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Clear a space in your freezer that will fit this baking dish.
To make the crust:
You can crush the crackers in a food processor, but I just did it by hand. Pour the crumbs into the parchment-lined baking dish. Then melt the 4 tablespoons of butter (in a separate dish or on the stove) and pour over the crumbs. Combine the crumbs and butter with a fork until evenly dampened. Then press into the pan so that the bottom is covered evenly. Bake the crust at 350 for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Set the baking dish aside once it's ready.
Meanwhile, make the caramel:
In a small saucepan, melt the sugar (takes about 5 minutes) until it appears smooth and copper in color. Remove from heat, then stir in the butter until melted. Add the cream and salt, then return the pan to the stove and bring the caramel back to a simmer. Continue to stir, and allow the caramel to become just a bit darker.
Now pour the caramel over the graham cracker crust. It'll sink into the graham crackers a bit. Pop the baking dish into the freezer for at least 20 minutes, allowing the caramel to solidify. Turn off the oven for this part.
Finally, make the brownie layer. Heat the oven to 350 again. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Then, off the heat, add the sugar, then the eggs. Stir in the vanilla, then the flour, then the pecans. Pour the batter on top of the caramel. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Be sure to let the brownies cool, then cut into squares. I like to pull the entire dish out (grab the parchment by the corners once the dish is cool enough) and cut on a cutting board. Serve warm, at room temperature, or even chilled.