Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Glaze

Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Glaze are also filled with Walnuts and topped with Maldon finishing salt. They are absolutely divine!

I have food magazines everywhere and today I’m grateful for their inspiration and these Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Glaze. Bedroom, bathroom, foyer table, family room and or course kitchen…really, just everywhere.

Sometimes they’ve been around long enough I see past them and that’s surely the case with the one where I got the basics for this absolutely decadent brownie in Food and Wine, July 2010. It had been forced into play on my bed as a surface for my laptop mouse (I am stubborn…a touch pad is not my friend, I SO prefer a mouse) and the other night I actually glanced inside the magazine a bit.

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This issue included Food and Wine magazine’s ‘Best New Chefs’ and ‘Italian Restaurant Dishes Made Easy’. I have to assume when I received it last year that I went straight to one of those articles because I never saw the one on ‘The Year of the Pastry Chef’ and I’ve always loved making all things pastry.

I’ve learned to accept that the results in Denver might tend to visually disappoint me more than I like (more on that in a bit!) but I don’t stop; making and bringing desserts to friends is one of my all time favorite things.

The original recipe for Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Glaze is from Anne Quatrano from ‘Star Provisions’ in Atlanta and her version had only three pertinent flavors: chocolate, butter and walnuts. I decided to up the espresso flavor just a bit with some Kahlua and when all was said and done…it just seemed to literally cry out for some caramel.

It was so dark chocolate intense that I wanted something to play against that and who doesn’t love caramel and of course the flavor du jour…salted caramel. I added a touch of salt to the caramel but also topped it with some Maldon salt flakes.

If you are using salt as a finish on any of your foods; you really need to get some Maldon, it is so pretty! I also increased the walnuts to 2 cups…I’m tired of adding what is specified but seeing a photo that makes it apparent way more were actually included…that was the case here.

Two cups was the right call. And don’t skip the toasting. Before toasted walnuts I was not quite the believer. Now…my favorite nut; yes I am California Walnutz!

My first experience with the flavor combination of chocolate, espresso and salted caramel was actually at a local Starbucks in the beautiful Aspen Grove shopping center several years ago. I had ordered coffee but my daughter Emily decided to try the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Oh my.

My coffee was suddenly beyond mundane so I ordered one too but asked if I could have it with a shot of espresso and a love affair had begun.

These Chocolate Brownies with Salted Caramel Glaze are rich, rich brownies. Did I mention rich? A pound of butter and the serving suggestion is 12 rectangles? Although the caramel layer adds some more butter, I fully expect to get at least double the serving pieces than what is suggested.

Though terrific with coffee or milk, I plan to have some friends over for dessert and serve it with some port wine. I LOVE port with deep rich chocolate desserts and this fits that description to an absolute T.

And that hint about high altitude ‘issues’? I did what I normally do. Increased oven temp 10 degrees and shortened cooking time; eliminated a bit of flour and baking powder and added more moisture (an excuse for the Kahlua for sure!).

Still…it looked a bit like a big sink hole, the sides had risen more than the center section. So that caramel sauce became my friend. I took a chef’s knife to the outside; leveling off the pan before pouring the caramel over everything. Turns out it needed the caramel in more ways than one!

By the way, getting closer to my big project of re-branding…well, ME! Everything will be Creative Culinary; this blog, Twitter, FaceBook, StumbleUpon and RSS feed and well…everything. What a job this has been but I think at some point I just have to pull the plug so hoping my next post will be the big announcement that the site is ready (or ready enough).

I could use a lot of crossed fingers and toes; this is undeniably NERVEWRACKING. But I remain happy I’m doing it. The full story of the why’s and wherefores will follow but suffice to say I won’t mind never saying the words again, ‘No, I’m really not a wine blog.’

I hope you will stay tuned!

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Espresso, Toasted Walnuts and Salted Caramel Glaze

A decadent brownie with espresso, Kahlua and toasted walnuts finished with a salted caramel glaze
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Cookies, Brownies and Bars
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Brownies
Calories 617 kcal


For the Brownies:

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ pounds bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua
  • 2 Tablespoons strong-brewed espresso
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup
  • 2 cups walnuts chopped and toasted

For the Salted Caramel Glaze:

  • ½ cup half and half
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 Tablespoons butter cut into 8 pieces
  • ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Maldon Flaked Sea Salt


To Make the Brownies

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a double boiler, melt the butter with the chopped chocolate over low heat. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.
  • Beat the eggs with the sugar at medium-high speed until pale and thick, about 4 minutes.
  • Beat in the Kahlua, vanilla and espresso. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
  • Beat in the melted chocolate and butter mixture at medium speed. Using a spoon, stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, until the top is shiny and lightly cracked, the edges are set and the center is still a bit jiggly.
  • Transfer the dish to a rack and let cool completely.
  • Pour the caramel glaze over the brownies and smooth into a thin layer.
  • Sprinkle with the Maldon salt and allow glaze to cool.
  • Cut the brownie into 12 large rectangles and serve. (I say 24 but hey…it’s up to YOU!)

To Make the Caramel Sauce and finish the Brownies

  • In small saucepan over low heat, warm heavy cream but do not boil.
  • In separate medium saucepan, combine sugar & water but DO NOT STIR. Place over medium-high heat & bring to a boil. Cook until mixture turns an amber color; watch closely, it can quickly go from the perfect color to burning! (10+ minutes); keep a close watch on it.)
  • Once mixture is amber, remove from heat and add warm cream, butter, and 1/2 t. kosher salt.
  • Stir gently using a whisk until smooth & well combined. Pour over brownies, tilting the pan to coat. Sprinkle with Maldon salt or more kosher salt.
  • Allow glaze to set before cutting/serving.


  • NOTE 1: At altitude I have to increase oven temp a bit and then shorten cooking time but I suggest that even at sea level you start checking early. I took this out at 45 minutes and am so glad I did; start checking at 50 minutes to make sure it does not get over-baked.
  • NOTE 2: Though I occasionally will discuss altitude issues, I always include ingredients for what we call, ‘flatlanders’ in Denver, so unless you are also at a higher altitude the specifications here work for the majority of people.


Nutrition Facts
Dark Chocolate Brownies with Espresso, Toasted Walnuts and Salted Caramel Glaze
Serving Size
16 Servings
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword brownies, dessert, salted caramel
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. I made these tonight and encountered a few issues.

    1. The recipe makes a lot of batter, almost too much batter for a 9 x 13 pan. The brownies rose up over the top of the pan quite a bit while baking but eventually came back down. I used a standard Pyrex glass 9 x 13 pan.

    2. I baked them for 60 minutes at 350 degrees and the brownies came out under-baked but the sides and corners had began to burn.

    3. Not sure my caramel glaze came out correctly. The caramel began to firm up quickly so I was unable to tilt the pan around to coat the brownies; had to spread with a spatula. After cooling completely, the caramel had a crumbly behavior to it. Is that how it should be? Admittedly this was my first time making caramel.

    Wanted to share my experience with others. If anyone has any insight into what went wrong with baking or the caramel, please share. Thanks.

    1. Annette, I’m so sorry you had problems; I can’t explain the issue with the batter although I know others who have made them without a problem. I have to alter my recipe a bit because I’m at high altitude so it’s hard for me to know…maybe someone else will jump in who has made them successfully. If you used a glass Pyrex dish, I do think that some recipes suggest altering the oven temp a bit…I believe downward by 25 degrees. It does sound like the sides may have risen faster from the increased heat conductivity of the glass?

      I think the caramel may have seized and/or cooked a bit too long as well. That texture of which you speak can happen if some of the sugar crystals that form on the side of the pan interfere with the cooking process. It’s why caramel is not stirred during the process; even though some recipes might suggest you wash the sides down with water during cooking to keep those particles included in the mix, I just usually let it just bubble up and cook without touching it.

      I am so sorry you had issues…it’s been such a favorite. Wondering now…would you try it again?

      1. Thanks for the reply and insight. I may give the recipe another try. The flavor of the brownies was great – just needed to be baked more in my opinion.

        I definitely want to give the caramel glaze another try. I think you are correct about the sugar crystals forming on the side of the pan. I will be more mindful of that when I try again. I believe I cooked it too long (too hot) as well. It came out more like toffee than caramel.

        1. That’s probably the case…you want to remove it as soon as it starts to turn a deeper color…it will continue cooking even in that time from stove to pan!

  2. Oh MY! This looks fantastic! A Little like the salted caramel squares at Starbucks that we tweeted about awhile back.. have you managed to recreate those yet? Gonna have to try these for Father’s Day!

    1. I think these are better than the one I had at Starbucks so I’ll stick with them instead…let me know if you do make them what you think Chrissy.

  3. My husband and I made these today and OMG THEY ARE SO GOOD!!! Perfect instructions! Thank you for being so thorough all the time! 🙂

  4. I found your page from the photo on Food Porn! OMG these look so good. I’ve got droolage all over the keyboard and I can’t wait to finish this comment and hit the print button and head to the kitchen. These look fantastic!

    1. Thank you…there were well received in-house for sure and by some readers who made them. Please let me know how you liked them, OK?

  5. Oh my goodness, do these ever look (and sound!) sinfully good! A definite marker going on this page for these! I’ll have to find a special occasion to make them!

    1. I know…it was like, well, they are already so decadent…how can it hurt? Thanks for stopping by.

  6. These are amazing, addicting, and everything that is right with the world! Mmm
    Thank you for posting these, and introducing me to the pure beauty that us chocolate + salted caramel 🙂

  7. I LOVE IT!!! So excited for you!

    Oh, and if I had one of those brownies it wouldn’t be enough, then I’d have to make two desserts because I wouldn’t share 🙂

    Love you lady! Congrats on the switch.

    1. I’m excited and nervous but ready to pull the plug and just be done with it. Keeping up two blogs is killing moi!

  8. Have I told you lately how much I adore you 🙂 Can you tell that I am buttering you up so that you’ll share some brownies with me? This just looks crazy good!!

    And your new site rocks love 🙂 Congrats!!

  9. My husband is a mouse person too. To touch pad or not to touch pad, it is an ongoing debate in our house. Your brownies are a work of art. I just can’t resist salted caramel especially when perched upon a gooey brownie.

  10. Wow those look positively decadent Barbara! I attempted a salted caramel brownie once that swirled the caramel inside and they just wouldn’t set. Too much caramel, but wow they tasted great. I bet these are amazing!

    1. This really was a glaze Amanda…so it was thin and setup semi hard. I had to freeze them. I kept trying ‘just one more.’

  11. My girls have been hounding me to make them brownies. And then I see this. And I avoid looking at your post, humming happily, whistling, biding my time… But I had to come back and delve into it. Who can say NO to these?
    My girls are into baking, and anything chocolate will get their creative and baking juices going. Now I have to be really sly and let them discover this recipe on their own:)
    BTW, I am glad I am not the only one who despises the touch pad. I have a mousse pad, but I also use magazines:) We need a support group:) With a lot of wine. And we’ll invite Kim:)
    Looking forward to seeing the new site!

  12. I’m laughing over the food mags being everywhere AND overlooked because that’s exactly my problem as well. I do like my trackpad, however. Yummy brownies — it’s the frosting I’m intrigued by. Sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to see the “new” you…

    1. I sort of never see them or cookbooks and then someone will come in and notice. Someone the other day said, ‘Are you getting rid of all of these cookbooks?’ about a pile I had been looking through. NO…I never get rid of them; might need a separate room for them though!

  13. These brownies look AMAZING, Barb! Love the wine glass in the first photo 🙂 I have the same problem with cookbooks and magazines: I keep getting them even though I have nowhere to put them. Hi, my name is Yuri and I’m a hoarder!

    1. I’m not typically a hoarder but as I look at the baskets and ‘artful’ piles of magazines I have to admit…maybe a bit. I just recently caved and got rid of 30 years of Bon Appetit magazine. Was painful but with everything now online…just didn’t make sense anymore. Ouch.

  14. These look absolutely fantastic, Barb! Salted caramel, rich chocolate, nuts… Mmmm. Port sounds like a wonderful pairing. Also, I so appreciate your honesty about the high-altitude struggles and how to make the best of unexpected (or are they expected, really?) results. It’s our trade off for these gorgeous mountain views.

    Best of luck with your rebranding venture! I’m sure it will be a great success.

    1. It’s a constant struggle isn’t it; but I like to share how I resolve things too; thinking it’s helpful because you know only too well, it’s going to happen sometimes no matter how we try to circumvent it. Baking at altitude is simply a challenge; sometimes in figuring out how to get it right in the mix…and sometimes how to fix it if it’s not!

  15. Barbara, now that I’m reading the recipe, these are very similar to Ina’s Brownies I made over the weekend…sans the fantastic salted caramel glaze. FYI, bake them in a half sheet pan instead of a 9×13 and you’ll get smaller portions and more brownies out of the batch.

  16. This is a very seductive recipe. How can you say no to these beauties. Congrats on your hard work toward a new you.

  17. Keeping fingers and toes crossed for you!! (Why on Earth did you say YES to me today???? Hope you’re almost done with your re-brand.)

    You want to know something sad? The July 2010 F&W issue at my house is probably still in the basket by the front door… unopened…. because I’m still working through 2009. True story.

    Look forward to the “new and improved you!”


    P.S. Salted caramel has GOT to be one of my Top 10 foods. Smear it over a brownie? Even better.

    1. Cause I have to keep myself afloat with business to enjoy the privilege of having this blog? Yeah…that’s it! I’m excited about helping with your website venture Kim, can’t wait to see the process in action.

  18. Decadent is not the word for these beauties! You can tell by your wonderful photograph just how moist and chewy these brownies are. To have topped them off with salted caramel is genius! Enjoy your gathering and enjoy your port and dessert!

    P.S. I’m sure your rebranding will be wonderful and without a glitch.

  19. These brownies look amazing! I want them now. And you serving them with a delicious port sounds like totally the right call. There’s really nothing better with port than dark chocolate.

    Can’t wait for the new blog update. If it’s anything like Vino Luci, I’m sure it’ll be awesome!

  20. Barb, wow nice to see what you were talking about on twitter. This brownie is a zap and burst of flavor. I would probably take a insy winsy bite and linger on the flavors, then will take one more &…till it was done with and gone! Gorgeous!!

  21. I gotta say. I’ve been in bed with a migraine all day and finally have an appetite. Now I need these and I won’t be happy until I get my grubby paws on a batch.

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