Make it Naked

Coconut Caramel Brownies

Make It Naked is all about going seasonal and although I’ve seen a lot of recipes using citrus and winter greens making their way across the internet lately – it’s brownie season folks. Rich, chocolately, decadent brownies are at their peak and need to be eaten.

Aside from keeping it seasonal, there were several other reasons the timing of this recipe felt right. Reasons that I know have crossed your minds:

  1. Krissy, only 5 of your 21 posts include chocolate. That’s less than 25%. I thought you were an engineer. Those are horrible numbers.
  2. Valentine’s day is coming! I love Valentine’s day! I need something I can cut into heart-shaped, bite-sized portions, preferably chocolate.
  3. Valentine’s day is coming! I hate Valentine’s day! I need something to settle my nausea from all the gross PDA and horribly clichéd jewelry commercials, preferably chocolate.
  4. It’s Girl Scout Cookie season. I love Girl Scout Cookies! But wait, the Girl Scouts forgot to mention that the second ingredient is partially hydrogenated oil. Help. I really like the purple kind – with the coconut.
  5. Only 5 of your 21 posts include chocolate. Really, fix that.

I hear what you’re saying and I’m on it. On it like caramel on brownies.

This recipe is something I worked up in my head and worked out in the kitchen with three cookbooks and dangerous amounts of chocolate and caramel. The result is dense, fudgey, chocolate brownies under a thin layer of sweet coconut caramel. The brownie is pure chocolate heaven, and the caramel is amazingly simple. Just stand there and watch as sugar transforms into your newest warm, spoonable addiction. Stir in the coconut and really, it should be illegal.

Caramel Progression

These brownies could stand alone without the topping, but if February 14th happens to also be your husband’s birthday, I highly recommend pouring on the caramel. It’s double the deliciousness for a double celebration. On second thought, pour it on regardless. Do it up. It is brownie season after all.

Someone couldn’t wait.

Coconut Caramel Brownies (recipe adapted from Baker’s one bowl brownie recipe; Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours; and Williams-Sonoma Cookies) For the Brownies Ingredients: 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped 3/4 cup butter (1.5 sticks), cut into pieces 2 cups granulated sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 3 eggs 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13×9 baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a med-large sauce pan, melt both chocolates and butter on med-low heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Once the mixture is smooth, remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each
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    addition. The mixture will start getting thick at this point.

  5. Stir in the flour and salt until well combined.
  6. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the Coconut Caramel Ingredients: 1 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon butter pinch of kosher salt 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut Directions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the sugar and water. Stir occasionally. Watch closely and let the sugar liquefy and turn an amber/brown color. This will take a few minutes, but once the color starts to turn a light brown it will quickly turn to a deeper brown, so watch very closely at that point. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in the salt, cream and butter, and be careful of splattering when adding the cream. Stir constantly until smooth.
  3. Stir in the coconut.
  4. Pour onto cooled brownies while caramel is still warm.

For the Chocolate Drizzle Ingredients: 2 ounces semisweet chocolate 1 teaspoon canola oil Directions:

  1. In a small sauce pan, microwave, or double boiler, add the chocolate and oil and slowly melt over low heat while stirring frequently to avoid burning.
  2. Using a spoon, a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner tip cut off, drizzle the chocolate over the caramel layer.


  1. Allow the caramel to firm up a bit for a clean cut brownie. You can cut and serve when the caramel is hot, it will just be melty and gooey – which is really NOT a bad thing.
  2. As I mentioned, the brownies can stand alone. As can the caramel. Save any extra caramel as a topping for ice cream or fruit. Just reheat.
  3. Don’t like coconut? Leave it out. It’s that easy. Like coconut? Here’s more.
  4. Nuts. Nuts and brownies are always controversial. If I tell you something, can we still be friends? I hate nuts in my brownies. But, please, go ahead and add nuts to the brownie and/or the caramel. I’ll believe you when you tell me it’s delicious.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Posted on February 12, 2011

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