Super rich, fudgy brownies loaded with chocolate, caramel and pecans! These ooey-gooey, crunchy and salty-sweet Turtle Brownies are seriously going to blow you away!
Am I the only one who feels like we are free falling through Summer? As the weeks whiz by I find myself mentally preparing for changing leaves and cooler weather but, y’all, I’m just not ready for it. So, to ease the transition, I’m stocking up new cookbooks to last me through the long, dark days. If you’re looking for me in the next few months, I’ll be in the kitchen.
This year, I’m craving all things decadent: cheesecake, bread pudding, molten lava cake and, best of all, brownies! When it comes to brownies, I’ve never been a fan of the outlandish and unusual. I have almost always preferred a simple, no-frills fudge brownie to its double chocolate-chunk or nut-filled competitors. But, every now and then, I come across something that rocks my socks, today’s Turtle Brownies do exactly that! Inspired by turtle candies, these brownies are so unique. I love to play around with candy flavors sometimes in desserts like this chocolate turtle cake and milky way cake so this was right up my alley.
Perks and Highlights of the Best Turtle Brownies
Cuisine Inspiration: Decadent Desserts
These brownies are more than just a sweet treat; they’re a journey into the world of indulgent dessert craftsmanship, with roots in the good ol’ USA.
Primary Cooking Method: Baking
Slow and steady wins the race, just like our turtle friends! These brownies ascend to their peak richness with the perfect bake, transforming your kitchen into a haven of heavenly aromas.
Dietary Info: Vegetarian, Nut-Inclusive
While these brownies are a vegetarian delight, they do include nuts and all the scrumptiousness they bring, so they’re a no-go for nut-free friends.
Key Flavor: Chocolatey Caramel Nuttiness
Imagine diving into layers of rich, fudgy chocolate, sticky-sweet caramel, and crunchy pecans. That’s the blissful bite of these brownies!
Skill Level: Intermediate
Some baking experience is helpful, but don’t fret! With a dash of passion and a sprinkle of patience, you’ve got this!
- Flavor Symphony: The blend of caramel, chocolate, and pecans isn’t just tasty; it’s a full-on concert of flavors in every bite.
- Texture Tango: From the crunchy pecans to the gooey caramel, these brownies dance around your palate with a dynamic texture profile.
- Aesthetic Wow: These aren’t just brownies; they’re a dessert statement piece, sure to draw “oohs” and “aahs” before they’ve even hit the taste buds.
- Freezer Friendly: Made too many? No problem! These gems freeze beautifully, ready to re-emerge as the hero of unexpected sweet cravings.
- Party Perfect: Whether it’s a festive bash or a cozy family gathering, these brownies steal the spotlight, making you the undeniable baking champ of any culinary showdown.
One Tin Bakes is a dazzler of a baking book written by none other than my dear friend Edd Kimber. In 2010, Edd was the winner of the first ever season of the Great British Baking Show! Since then, he’s gone on to develop and publish four cookbooks: Say It With Cake, The Boy Who Bakes, Patisserie Made Simple and, his latest, One Tin Bakes.
Edd and I connected and become friends on my trip with Bailey’s Irish Cream to Ireland last year. He is just so fun and such a wonderful person. Not only because of his recipes but because of his character and commitment to creativity. One Tin Bakes is a peek inside the mind of a brilliant baker who combines butter and sugar with solid technique. Did I mention how fun each recipe is to make? Walk, don’t run to pick up a copy of this terrifically clever book!
Whenever I come across a new, unique variation of a classic recipe I get super excited. I love the idea of reviving something a bit outdated or overdone. We’ve all had a Turtle Brownie, been there done that, but you haven’t had this Turtle Brownie. Made with fresh and intriguing ingredients, this recipe takes on an American classic in a deliciously fun way.
Here are my two-cents on today’s ingredients:
- Cold Unsalted Butter– the colder, the better. I like to cube up the butter and place in the freezer until I’ve prepared all of my ingredients.
- Wholemeal Rye Flour– I know, this is a bit of a curveball but I promise it’s worth picking up at the market. Rye flour is slightly sour, very earthy and rich; its unique taste makes for a tender, flavorful brownie.
- Cocoa Powder– high-quality, dutch-processed cocoa powder is a must. The powder itself should be darker, softer and more aromatic than a cheaper variation.
- Flaked Sea Salt– Maldon Flaked Sea Salt is the best! A few pinches adds a salty, crisp bite that cuts through sweetness and creates balance.
- Baking Powder– be sure to use fresh, active baking powder. To test, spoon ½ a teaspoon in a bowl and pour ¼ cup of boiling water on top. It should bubble up pretty violently. If not, get yourself a new tin.
- Milk & Dark Chocolate– I recommend investing in high-quality baking chocolate because it heavily impacts both flavor and texture. Ghirardelli, Guittard and Lindt are all incredible options. Dark chocolate adds bitter richness while milk chocolate adds creamy sweetness; each one balances out the other while layering in so much chocolatey goodness!
- Caster & Light Brown Sugar– does your sweet tooth sing as loudly as mine does? Well, you’ve clearly come to the right place.
- Eggs- eggs add both protein and fat which binds the dry ingredients and creates a perfect brownie texture.
- Vanilla– this is what makes that signature aroma that fills the kitchen and makes your mouth water.
- Pecans– don’t have any on hand? Walnuts are a great replacement! Pecans are sweet and buttery whereas walnuts will be tangy and earthier.
How to Make Turtle Brownies
- Prep Like a Pro: Fire up your oven to 350°F (that’s 170°C or 160°C for fan ovens, or gas mark 4). Grab your 9×13 inch baking tin and give it a little love with some grease and line it with greaseproof paper. Let the paper hang a bit over the long sides; it’s not just stylish, it’s practical!
- Brownie Base Time: Sift flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder together like they’re the VIPs of your baking club. Now, cozy up butter and dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl, then let them melt together over a pan of barely-there simmering water. Stir occasionally; we’re going for smooth perfection.
- Whisk It Real Good: Take both sugars, eggs, and vanilla and whisk them into the spotlight until they’re thick, pale, and flaunting increased volume. This isn’t just mixing; it’s a texture and flavor lock-down!
- Chocoholic’s Dream: Lower your mixer’s adrenaline to slow, and introduce it to the chocolate mixture. It’s a match made in heaven. Use a spatula to fold in the dry VIPs until you spot just a flirt of flour. Now, lavish that lusciousness into your tin, evening it out like a smooth jazz melody. Crown it with half your pecans and milk chocolate pieces. It’s starting to look royal!
- Bake and Wait: Play the patience game and bake for 25 minutes. You’re looking for that toothpick to come out like it dived into a flavor pool and came out with moist crumbs attached. Cool it (literally), and if you’re on Team Fudgy, let it chill in the fridge.
- Caramel Charm: Transform sugar in a saucepan until it’s a melted golden treasure. Welcome cream, butter, and salt to the party, calming the bubbly excitement before ensuring it’s all smooth. Let this golden elixir thicken a bit, then drizzle it over your cool brownie base like you’re painting a masterpiece.
- Finishing Flair: Time for the grand finale! Drizzle that caramel like it’s liquid gold, sprinkle the rest of your pecans and milk chocolate with gusto, and if you’re walking on the wild side, a hint of flaked sea salt.
Store cut brownie squares in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. If preferred, wrap each square tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. These brownies can also be frozen for up to 3 months; defrost at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge overnight.
TIP: I am obsessed with eating these brownies warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Place the brownie in a microwave-safe bowl and zap it for 10-15 seconds. Top with ice cream of choice and enjoy!
During the Winter months, I’m all about warm, fudgy, freshly baked brownies. There’s just something about ooey-gooey chocolate that cures the gloomy weather blues. Wrap yourself in a chewy chocolate blanket and hibernate a bit, you deserve it.
Check out Grandbaby Cakes’ most decadent brownies EVER:
- Fudgy Chewy Brownies
- Salted Caramel Popcorn Brownies
- Mississippi Mud Brownies
- Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Gluten Free Vegan Brownies
- Skillet Brownie
- Caramel Pretzel Brownies
For the Chocolate Brownies
- 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter 7 oz/200g, diced, plus extra for greasing
- 1 3/4 cup wholemeal rye flour see note below on using all purpose
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 10 1/2 oz dark chocolate 65-75% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup caster sugar super fine
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup pecans roughly chopped
- 1 3/4 oz milk chocolate roughly chopped, or can use chocolate chips
For the Salted Caramel
- 1/2 cup caster sugar super fine
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp flaked sea salt plus extra for sprinkling (optional)
- Heat the oven to 170C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Lightly grease a 23cm x 33cm baking tin and line with a piece of greaseproof paper that overhangs the two long sides.
For the Brownies
- Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Put the butter and dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water), stir occasionally until fully melted, then take the bowl off the heat.
- Put both sugars, the eggs and vanilla in a separate large bowl and, using an electric mixer, whisk on medium-high for four to five minutes, or until increased in volume, thick and pale. This is what will give the brownies a fudgy texture and a thin crackly crust.
- Turn the mixer to low, pour in the chocolate mixture and combine. Use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture until just the odd fleck of flour remains. Scrape into the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Sprinkle over half the pecans and half the milk chocolate pieces or chips.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached. Leave to cool in the tin. For a fudgier brownie, once cool, chill for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.
For the Salted Caramel
- Put the sugar in a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat until melted and the color of an old copper coin. Add the cream, butter and salt, and, once the bubbling has subsided, if there are any lumps, reduce the heat and stir until melted. Pour the caramel into a small, heatproof bowl and set aside for 10–15 minutes until slightly thickened.
- To finish, drizzle the caramel over the brownies, sprinkle over the remaining pecans and milk chocolate, and scatter over a little extra flaked sea salt, if you’re a fan of sweet and salty. Remove from the tin and cut into squares.