Your Life A to Z Recipe: Friday,December 19th, 2014: Salted Caramel Brownies and Molasses-Spice Crinkles By Chef Maggie Norris

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Salted Caramel Brownies
Adapted from Maureen Callahan
Yields: 16 (1 each)

Brownies:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray

Topping:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons evaporated fat-free milk, divided
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare brownies, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through baking powder) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add butter mixture to flour mixture; stir to combine (mixture will be thick). Scrape batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare topping, melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons milk; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and powdered sugar; stir with a whisk until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cooled brownies. Let stand 20 minutes or until set.

Combine 2 tablespoons milk and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 45 seconds or until melted, stirring after 20 seconds. Stir just until smooth; drizzle over caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt; let stand until set. Cut into squares.


Molasses-Spice Crinkles
Southern Living
Yields: 3 dozen

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup sparkling sugar

Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup granulated sugar, beating well. Add egg and molasses; beat well.

Combine flour and next 8 ingredients, stirring well. Add one-fourth of flour mixture at a time to shortening mixture, beating at low speed after each addition until blended. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in sparkling sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 375° for 9 to 11 minutes. (Tops will crack.) Remove to wire racks to cool completely.