Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Milky Way Brownie Cups (or, the best brownies ever!)

On my "About Me" page, I admit that I have a true weakness for caramel.  As an ice cream topping, I'll choose caramel over chocolate.
I finally overcame my fear of making caramel, when I made Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream, and now I made my own caramel ice cream topping.   Since then, I've made different variations of Caramel Flan and Panna Cotta.

Milky Way Bars are the candies that I would barter from my son, when he'd deposit his heavy bag of Halloween Goodies.  I prefer milk chocolate, over dark, and caramel and that light creamy nougat-- I have loved them for as long as I can remember.   I stumbled across a photo of Milky Way Brownie Cups, and I became obsessed with wanting to make them.

I am really excited to share this recipe with you. While the concept of the recipe isn't new (just google "Milky Way Brownie Bites), I did what the judges on American Idol often say--  "I made
them my own" by making the brownies, from scratch--thanks to King Arthur Flour  If you only buy 

boxed brownie mix, I can promise you that you will never do that again. This recipe is truly the best I've ever made (and I've made my fair share). The brownies bake with a fudgy center, and crispy edges. In my book, that is the "Ultimate Brownie".  Best of all, they take minutes to make because you use melted butter, eggs, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder a pinch of salt-- and vanilla.  You don't need a mixer, because a whisk will do the job nicely.

 These wouldn't be Brownie Cups without a Mini Muffin Pan.  Because I'm such a kitchen gadget Queen, I have this set of scoops-- and I use them all the time, because they are such a time saver and I can make all of my baked goods to be the same size.

The brownie bites baked in just under 15 minutes-- until a toothpick inserted left a little bit of attached crumb. Don't over bake them!

After waiting two minutes, I used this handy-dandy tamper, to gently press an indentation (I dampen it with water, to prevent too much sticking).  I let the brownie cups to cool completely.
NOTE: The brownies were so good, that I quickly made a second batch in a regular brownie pan. Partly, because my son loved his sample, of a broken brownie cup, that I feared he'd get into the rest. You can stop right here, if you want. Trust me, you don't need any other recipe. 

I wanted to frost the cups, and I knew that I wanted to use milk chocolate-- after all, these wouldn't be "Milky Ways"!  On a whim, I remembered that I  purchased two flavors of Philadelphia Cream Indulgence (a fairly new product). At the time I bought them, I had no idea how I would use them. Perfect!

I took a taste, and I have to tell you-- run, and buy some! So delicious! This is an 8 oz. tub. If you can't find this, you could melt milk chocolate and blend it into cream cheese-- but, this is so much easier.

I didn't want to use actual Milky Way Bars, as many of the recipes do. In truth, I don't keep Milky Way Bars on hand, or I'll eat them all!  I figure I would use the components of Milky Way bars-- milk chocolate and caramel.  I thought about making my own caramel sauce, until I remembered that I had (gently) tossed a jar of this Salted Caramel Sauce that I spotted at Trader Joe's. Of course, I had to give it a taste. If you live anywhere near a Trader Joe's, my advice is run and buy some of this!  I plan to do just that, hoping this was not just a seasoning item. It's buttery, with notes of salt, and tastes just as good as homemade.

For the frosting, I used one stick of softened butter, one 8 oz. tub of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Milk Chocolate Indulgence, 5 cups of powdered sugar and a splash of half and half.  I wanted the consistency of the frosting to be thick enough so I could pipe the frosting.  Once again, I dipped a spoon and gave this a taste.  Perfect!  The tang of the cream cheese mutes the sugary sweetness just right.

If you think that you're clumsy with piping bags, I can assure you that they are very easy to work with. I have re-usable piping bags, but I want to show you a very easy piping bag trick. For that I'll need to use a clear bag. FOR THE RECORD: I'm still awkward and clumsy at using the folded parchment paper trick.  So, you need a piping bag and coupler (inexpensive tools, that I buy at a Michael's Craft Store.  Cut the tip off so that the coupler can fit just to the edge, then place the piping tip inside the bag..  Attach the "ring" on the outside and you're ready for frosting. The most common way to fill the piping bag is to fold it into a cuff, place it into a glass and fill it. Ah! Try this-- place a cup or two of frosting onto plastic wrap.  

Grab both ends and twirl.  Now, slide one of through the cuffed piping bag, and thread it through.

Why do it this way?  When you're finished frosting, you can slide the leftover frosting right out, and your piping bag is virtually clean!  Easy.

 Now, for my favorite component-- caramel!

I drizzled a scant teaspoon of caramel into each brownie cup.



I had 30 brownie cups. I filled 27 of them with caramel.  Three of these were "test brownies" I can assure you that they were delicious. (So can my son.)

At last, my favorite part. Piping frosting. I find it fun and therapeutic. Really! Here we go...


I got the hang of it. Love that caramel, that's oozing over the edges. 

I got so carried away, that the doorbell rang, and our Super Bowl guests had arrived.  

I quickly ushered "Donna" to try one of these.   Once I saw her eyes roll into the back of her head, I knew I had scored a touchdown.  My son, declined trying a sample because he says "he's not that fond of caramel".  Fine. Be that way.

As we watched the Ravens do their magic in the first half-- and the Infamous Power Failure lasted the 34 minutes, the men noshed on Chili and other snacks.  Then, as the second half of the game turned into a nail biter, (we) 49-er Fans gained hope for a victory. That's just about when one of the "men" popped one of these in their mouth. I heard a very distinct, "wow, these are really good!  While the 49'ers didn't win, I'd say that these desserts turned out to be a great consolation prize dessert.

TASTING NOTES: The brownies are so good, just by themselves, and I plan to make these as my "go to" recipe.   Of course, the caramel and cream cheese frosting makes these taste like a Milky Way Bar...if not just a bit better.  These are, indeed, very rich.  I ate two, and I had a chocolate overdose.  Chocolate-Caramel lovers, this dessert is for you!  Oh, my son (who says he doesn't care for caramel), says these are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!   Can you see Mama smiling now?

I have to credit Inside BruCrew Life, for inspiring me to make this recipe-- thought I made my own brownies, from scratch and I made a buttercream frosting, instead of cool whip.

I always post a printable recipe card at the end of each recipe post. If you cannot view it, you might be using an older version of InternetExplorer. You should be able to view my recipe cards with Safari, Mozilla, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. If you still can't view the recipe card, all of my recipes are stored on Key Ingredient, by clicking here.  If you still can't figure out how to view the printable recipe card, please email me at foodiewife@gmail.com and I am happy to help.

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Sireesha Puppala said...

Oh my god..they look stunning n ur step by step clicks making me drool like nothing loved these sweet cuties

Ciao Chow Linda said...

This looks decadent - and I can't wait to try my own little bit of decadence in duplicating these. First I need a group of people to gather or I'll gain 50 pounds eating all of them myself.

Lisa Ghenne said...

This is my kinda dessert! I love caramel! I can't wait to make these...amazing! You are a genius!

Debby Foodiewife said...

LOL, Lisa! Sometimes, cravings makes us come up with great ideas. Linda, I'd gain 50 pounds if I ate them all. Fortunately, I can only handle two, max. These are perfect for sharing. :)

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

OMG that caramel and that cream cheese? *swoon* I'm drooling!

Kate said...

Oh wow! I would love every bite and lick all the sticky off my fingers,too! I have never seen the chocolate cream cheese but I will be on the look out.

mutfak gazetesi said...


Anonymous said...

Looks sooo good!

Joanne said...

I seriously attempted to lick that caramel center off my computer screen. SO.GOOD.

Ashley Katsuyama said...

How deliciously over the top! These look too tempting!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I can see why these would be the best brownies ever. Wow! No exaggeration there.

Please post your panna cotta recipe!

Proud Italian Cook said...

You are truly evil Deb! Of course I mean that in a good way. That flan looks to die for too!

frost said...

that looks soooo good!

Paula said...

Oh my, this looks fabulous buddy! Thank you for sharing the recipe ~ great photos (as always!) & Blessings xoxo

Stephanie said...

I would LOVE to have this recipe, but I don't see a link under your signature! Please help, I'm drooling here...

Debby Foodiewife said...

If you can't see the recipe, then change browsers. Older versions of Internet Explorer presents a problem. People using Safari, Mozilla and Google Chrome can view them. Otherwise email me at foodiewife@gmail.com and I'll send you the link.

Anonymous said...

I made these today, using a boxed brownie mix. They were wonderful. I believe the words I heard from my friends were "It's a party in my mouth". Thanks for the great recipe!

Debby Foodiewife said...

Well, that's a great recommendation! Thanks for leaving a review!