Ferrero Rocher Brownie Bites with Caramel-Cream Cheese Icing
Go ahead and plug in your treadmill. You're probably going to need it after just looking at these pictures.
It's Secret Recipe Club (SRC) reveal day. This month I was assigned to Cook Lisa Cook. I really admire Lisa's blog...especially the photos of her sweet five-year-old daughter, Maisie. Lisa and her husband, Eammon, adopted precious Maisie from China in December of 2006. You can tell she is quite the treasured princess in their lives; it's a beautiful thing to see. I really love that Lisa involves Maisie in much of her time spent in the kitchen, as Maisie is in a large majority of the preparation photos. Those times will be sweet memories for Maisie as she gets older.
Lisa has many delicious recipes on her blog. I will definitely be heading back to try her Chocolate Chip Gingersnap cookies and many other delightful creations. I was intrigued by her Rolo Brownie Bites with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting. Because, yum! Chewy caramel chocolates buried within warm brownies and left to get soft and melty? Then topped with a caramel cream cheese frosting? Who can resist such a treasure?
I changed the recipe only slightly by substituting Ferrero Rocher candies for the Rolos because I could not find a single Rolo candy in the grocery store on the day I was shopping to make this dessert. I also did not use the jarred caramel sauce...I made my own simply by cooking sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan for about 10 minutes.
So grab your favorite package of brownie mix (or make your own homemade batter), some cream cheese, butter, a small can of sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, and the candies (your choice...).
Grease and then fill the mini-muffin tins with the brownie batter.
Bake for 12-15 minutes at 325 degrees until done.
Have the candies unwrapped,
and immediately press them into the warm brownies.
While the brownies are baking, you can make the caramel sauce (if you choose not to use the prepared store-bought version).*
Simply cook a small can of sweetened condensed milk over
medium heat for about 10 minutes.
medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Stir almost constantly.
It will become thicker and darken in color.
And before you know it, you'll have caramel.
Mix as many tablespoons of caramel into the icing as you'd like.
I used two tablespoons, but next time I'll use more.
Now back to the brownies.
(I dotted mine with some of the extra caramel.)
And then I iced them.
A little cross-section view for you...
Here's the printable recipe.
Ferrero Rocher Brownie Bites with Caramel Icing
Makes 24 bite-sized brownies
1 (18.5 oz. box) brownie mix (plus necessary eggs, oil & water per package instructions - or your favorite homemade recipe)
24 Ferrero Rocher candies (or Rolo candies)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2-3 tablespoons caramel "sauce"
1 cup confectioners sugar
Remove all wrappers from the candies.
Pre-heat oven to 325F.
Prepare brownies according to package directions. Grease a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray and fill each cup approximately 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 12-15 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and immediately press a candy into the center of each brownie bite. (The top of the candy will protrude a bit from the brownie...it's OK...you'll cover it with icing.) Cool for a couple of minutes in the tin then carefully remove the brownie bites from the pan to a cooking rack. Allow to cool completely.
To make the frosting, use the paddle attachment on a stand mixer and beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the caramel sauce* and blend. Add the confectioners sugar and whip until creamy and smooth. Using a pastry or plastic bag with a piping tip, pipe the frosting onto the top of each brownie bite. Chill in the refrigerator to set the frosting a bit before serving.
*To make homemade caramel sauce, simple empty the contents of a small can of sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan. Stir constantly for 10 to 12 minutes over medium heat. (Do not let it scorch.) The milk will begin to deepen in color and thicken. Remove from heat when the caramel will thickly adhere to the back of your mixing spoon. The longer you cook it, the harder it will become when it cools until it is difficult to work with. To thin it, add a small splash of milk and mix well.
*You will only need two tablespoons of caramel to make the icing...but I found other ways to use the remaining caramel (ice cream topping, straight off the spoon, etc.).