{ brown butter + salted caramel brownies }

{ brown butter + salted caramel brownies }

 brown butter + salted caramel brownies
{ yum }

In the words of a very good friend, my life is paved in good intentions. When I found out my kids were going to be gone for a week, I though, wow, I’m going to get so much done. Mind you, I experience this quarterly, so I should know better. I was going to live off the greens growing in my garden and juice all day long. I was going to refinish the furniture in my office. I was going to do my taxes and get caught up on paperwork. It was as if I’d never ever met myself before.

If you follow my Instagram account you know that last week I went dark. The only thing I posted was my blueberry + tangerine breakfast buns. That might be an indication of how the healthy eating thing went. I was also going to clean out my refrigerator and try out some new recipes (Santa Maria Tri Tip Soup…does this sound good to you too?). Instead I foraged what provisions were available in my fridge. How about a dinner of baked sweet potato with salvaged cheese (I think it was gruyere) and a couple of splashes of Tabasco? It wasn’t great. Definitely not my finest culinary hour nor an Instagram-worthy meal.

When the sun would dare to wake me up at 6:30 (I mean, really?!) I would don the nightshades and yawn, stretch…suddenly it was 10:30 a.m. It would then take me a solid 45 minutes to figure out what the hell I was going to do on that particular day. Yawn. Stretch. Maybe a catnap? One day was filled with a Law & Order marathon. Not proud. Meanwhile the dishes were piling up in the sink. It was the College Years, Part Deux.

Fast forward ten days and here’s what I did accomplish. I had some delicious foie gras at Terraine in L.A (not sad it’s legal again) and was served by the rudest waiter. Ever. It was a love-hate experience. Had a 90-minute massage at the Four Seasons. Transformative. Stayed at the W in Hollywood. Relaxing. I love room service.

Believe it or not, I did clean my house. Amazing. Started my taxes. That deserves a standing ovation. Made breakfast buns. Yummy. And had the most hilarious evening with some funny ladies. It was the kind of evening that renews your faith in the fun the world has to offer.

Ultimately, my goal is to make it to the end of these kid-free weeks looking forward to some routine…some structure. Anxiously awaiting the parents (I mean kids) coming home. They keep me in line, whether they know it or not.

So while tomorrow I will be the pillar of productivity, today I’m still on parent vacation. All of those days spent staring out the window was building up to this moment. Yes, finally, the illegitimate sister to the { brown butter + salted caramel blondies }. You’re welcome loves. Happy Sunday.

{ brown butter + salted caramel brownies }

{ brown butter + salted caramel brownies }

Makes 9 Brownies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-brewed espresso or coffee
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce (love love love Fran’s or Recchiuti or, if you can’t/don’t want to leave the house, follow my recipe here)
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling on top

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In an 8-inch square pan do one of the following: either spray it with nonstick, lube it up with butter or line with parchment paper. I did the latter…it makes it easier to get these out of the pan when they’re done.
  3. Place the chocolate in the top bowl of a double boiler over medium-high heat. Every once in a while give it a spin around the bowl until the chocolate is all melted and happy. Once melted, remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Place the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Don’t turn it on blast, you want to build up to browning your butter. It should take about 5 minutes. The butter will get all frothy and then when the froth starts to dissipate, you’ll notice little, light-brown bits starting to settle on the bottom of the pan. At that point, remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the brown butter in a bowl. Add the sugar into the butter and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool a couple beats.
  5. Whisk the melted chocolate, espresso/coffee and vanilla into the slightly cooled butter-sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.
  6. In another bowl whisk together the eggs. Carefully whisk these into the butter-chocolate mixture. Keep whisking as you’re adding the eggs to make sure that you don’t scramble them in the warm mixture.
  7. In another bowl, whisk together the salt, baking powder and flour.
  8. Dump the flour mixture on top of the butter-chocolate mixture. Mix everything together in as few strokes as possible.
  9. Pour the chocolate batter into the pan, smoothing out the top so it looks all even and pretty.
  10. Now drizzle the caramel over the top. If you need to smear it around a bit to look pretty, feel free. I usually put the caramel in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds so that it drizzles nicely.
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes. They will look underdone. That’s good. You want that.
  12. Generously sprinkle with the coarse salt. If you’re feeling especially frisky, drizzle with more caramel like an overpaid artist that doesn’t give two shits.
  13. Let cool for a full hour before you pull them out of the pan.
  14. You’re welcome. Again. Smooches. xx
 { on my mind }
  • Does anyone else just watch the red carpet, but not the Oscars?
  • Because I always like to give a shout-out to my peeps, here’s a fascinating peek into the lives of migrant workers in China. None of this makes sense to us…but in China, if you’re born in one town and decide you’d like to go work in another, you’d be considered illegal. Meaning healthcare and education wouldn’t be available to you or your family. Think about that. Say you were raised in Arizona but want to rock the Big Apple, you’d have to apply to live in New York. And, more than likely, you would get denied. Read about how that’s working out for them here.
  • I only enjoy posting this because I’ve never met a diet I liked or could follow. Anything that says they’re not great, wrong or even remotely detrimental to my health makes me incredibly happy. You’re nodding your head right now, aren’t you? I knew we’d agree on this. So, paleo people, this one’s for you.
  • I also had a Sex & the City marathon day…why did we ever stop watching this show? Or was it just me? I did some scholarly research on how Carrie could afford her amazing Manhattan apartment. Because I too want a place just like this. I found a very critical article on Carrie. We’re not this judgmental, are we? I didn’t think so.
  • Kinda heavy for me, but I love this. Important stuff. Not everything can be booze, naps and food. I know. Sorry about that.
  • Happy week. I wish you the best one. Really.

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12 Comments

  • Beau Ciolino 2015/02/27 at 3:08 PM

    Brown butter AND salted caramel in one item?! My mouth is salivating and my knees are getting weak and my vision is starting to get blurred and I’m pretty sure all of these lame kids in my class are about to get really uncomfortable so I’m going to close the lap top and get back to this lecture on philosophy or God or whatever this man is talking about. Stay well, Rebecca!

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife 2015/02/28 at 4:21 PM

      Frankly Beau, it all makes me wayyyy too excited!! I’m trying to yawn-stretch get up right now and make more. xx

      Reply
  • Debra@TheCookbookDiva 2015/02/27 at 1:16 PM

    Oh.My.Goodness. Those brownies look simply divine. Truly tempting my willpower here. Definitely going to keep them on the top of my “when I need a treat” list.

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife 2015/02/28 at 4:18 PM

      Happy Mornin’ Debra — I was just thinking we needed more in our house!! Let me know if you make them!! xx

      Reply
  • Ami@NaiveCookCooks 2015/02/26 at 9:15 PM

    Omg delicious combo and your pictures are stunning!!

    Reply
  • Ingredient1 2015/02/26 at 7:32 PM

    Wow – we just discovered your blog and this flavor combination speaks to our hearts!! Cannot wait to try these!

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife 2015/02/26 at 8:56 PM

      This flavor combo sings to my heart. It’s not the last you’ll see of me doing something with it…the possibilities are endless!! So glad you found me…I hope you love them as much as we do!! xx

      Reply
  • Jessica | A Happy Food Dance 2015/02/24 at 3:26 PM

    Productivity aside, your week sounds amazing! Terrine is on my list of places to eat and a massage sounds heavenly right about now. Actually a massage while eating these brownies because they look killer!

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife 2015/02/24 at 5:47 PM

      Terrine was yummy…and everyone else that worked there was SUPER nice. Our waiter was just salty as hell. I like the idea of brownies with the massage…next time!! Let me know what you think of Terrine when you go!! xx

      Reply
  • DisplacedHousewife 2015/02/23 at 1:48 AM

    Hi Ani!! That thought did cross my mind while I was totally OD’ing on the Sex & the City marathon…no channel changing for me. I always try to look on the bright side when my kids are gone. These brownies are just sitting on the counter…waiting for them to get here. Can’t wait!! Here’s to a virtual cheers!! xx

    Reply
  • Ani Hughes 2015/02/23 at 1:24 AM

    Love. Just love — your post and your recipe. I am totally making these in the very near future. I watched a bunch of the sex and the city marathon, too. I just had to very quickly change the channel when my daughter came into the living room! I wish you the best week, too, my dear. <3

    Reply

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