These skillet brownies are gooey, warm, chocolatey, with a nutty caramel crunch. I like to call them simply…nirvana.
I am going to try and keep this short and sweet (really sweet) today because I am in the midst of Thanksgiving prep. We’re hosting this year and I’ve written out a strict timeline that I must adhere to if I want to be calm and collected when our guests arrive.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really stressed. In fact, I feel like organizing, cooking and baking is what I was put on this earth to do. You might think this a sad revelation, but recognizing this is what led me to start this blog. I’ve never enjoyed a job as much as this one (feeling thankful at Thanksgiving) so bring on the list-making and potato-peeling!
But, I digress…
I have been in Thanksgiving overdrive for the past few weeks. We’ve talked turkey, potatoes (both mashed and sweet), cranberry sauce, stuffing and gravy. I made this apple pie back in September, which is absolutely part of my Thanksgiving menu but, I’ve had one glaring omission.
See, I’m a well-rounded lover of all things sweet, so I don’t mind skipping a chocolate dessert on Thanksgiving. I’ll happily fill up on all the pumpkin, apple and pecans treats that I can get my hands on. But then I think of my youngest boy and know I have to put a little bit of chocolate on the dessert menu. That boy would be despondent without it and I can’t have any sad faces at the Thanksgiving table.
Well let’s just say these skillet brownies are the answer to your chocolate-loving prayers. Served piping hot out of the oven, with a caramel pecan topping and a dollop of fresh whipped cream, you’re going to want to skip right to dessert. They are baked in individual 3.5 inch skillets so you can go ahead and be selfish or stick a couple spoons in there if you’re saving room for some of the other goodies on the table.
Now these are best suited to a smaller gathering, as I’m sure most of us don’t have 18 mini cast iron skillets on hand, but you could adjust the baking time and bake these in a large skillet too. If your crowd is just too big and you don’t want to even deal with the oven once the turkey is out, well just bookmark this recipe and come back to it in the winter. There’s nothing like a warm brownie to soothe the soul on a cold and blustery day. And don’t worry, you can still get your chocolate fix by making some cute cake pops for Thanksgiving. I recommend using this chocolate cake recipe and decorating them like these pumpkin cake pops. These can be completely made in advance so you can knock out all the work today.
Okay, I’m heading back to the kitchen to tackle my list. I would like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and be sure to come see me on Friday when I’ll show you how to turn those leftovers into the Best. Sandwich. Ever. Gobble Gobble!
- 4 oz unsalted butter coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Caramel Pecan Topping
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup pecans coarsely chopped
- *special equipment: 5 or 6 - 3.5 inch cast iron skillets
Brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Place the butter, cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl and set it on over the saucepan to melt.
Stir the chocolate, cocoa and butter until melted and remove from heat. Cool slightly.
In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla until just combined.
Slowly add the chocolate mixture and stir until just combined.
Fold in the flour and baking powder.
Divide the mixture evenly between the skillets (no need to grease the pans).
Caramel Pecan Topping: Combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and fold in the chopped pecans.
Divide the topping evenly over the brownies and place the skillets on a parchment lined sheet tray. The topping may drip over onto the pan and the parchment makes for easy clean up.
Bake the brownies for 15-20 mins until they are set, but still a little jiggly.
Serve immediately and top with ice cream or whipped cream.
Notes: This recipe makes 5-6 servings. If you use 5 skillets, the brownies will puff up a little more and give you a nice crispy edge. For a less crispy edge and less full pan, use 6 skillets.
These are best served right out of the oven for a warm, gooey center, however they're still delicious at room temperature and will have a more traditional brownie texture.