Dec 6, 2012

Hershey's Kisses Stuffed Brownie Bites with Salted Caramel AND Butterscotch Ganache

PHEW!  Can you seriously believe I managed to stuff all that into one little bite?

Well I did.  Neener-neener're in trouble.

Really the intent was to make this brownie bite minus the caramel, but after a test bake I realized that when you push the Hershey Kiss down in the brownie batter and leave it's little pokey-poke sticking out of the top, it bakes up with that little pokey-poke still pokin'...and with a crater.

So actually I was pretty excited to see that little hole.  Because you know what holes get to fill them!  With caramel, of course. 

I actually had an extra batch of salted caramel (doesn't everyone) that I have been meaning to use up so this was the perfect opportunity.  I could have stopped with the caramel and not added the butterscotch ganache, but why?  It's Christmas, let's ho-ho-ho it up.

This is the first time I ever tried Butterscotch ganache.  It can I put this to truly express how freaking amazing it is.  It smells of rum and marshmallows flavored with vanilla and buttery-oh-so-buttery, slightly caramelized sugar.  With a side of awesome.  Yeh, all in one bowl, can you believe that?

If you put these out for Santa he may leave you a Lamborghini.  Well unless the Mrs. has him on a high-fiber, low fat diet.  Then you're gettin' hangers.  Or socks.  OR socks on hangers.

Lastly, I can be reasonable.  If you don't want to add the caramel and are worried about the crater, it's okay.  There is a different way to fill the pan properly with the batter so this won't happen.  I will show you below.  But really, spread the love.  Spread the caramel.

Hershey's Kisses Stuffed Brownie Bites with Salted Caramel AND Butterscotch Ganache
makes about 36 mini brownies bites
printable version


For the Brownies:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
approx. 36 Hershey Kisses (I used the milk chocolate & white chocolate Hugs)
For the Butterscotch Ganache:
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
Salted Caramel (optional)
colored sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a mini muffin pan with liners.  Set aside.

Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a standing mixer on medium speed until well incorporated.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
 Sift the cocoa into the wet mixture. 
Be sure to sift you cocoa, otherwise you could be adding in clumps like these:
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. 
Whisk to combine.

Gradually add the flour to the egg mixture, mixing until well blended. Do not over-beat.
Using a small spoon, carefully add the batter to the prepared pan.  Do not over fill or you will get muffin tops.  Not a good look.  Gently push down one Hershey Kiss into the center of each hole.  Don't push all the way to the bottom, just slightly submerge.
If you want the crater effect to fill with the caramel, leave the kiss exposed like this:
If you want a flat top, cover the candy with a bit of batter like this:
Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the top is slightly firm and not sticky.
Let the brownies cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
To prepare the ganache, place the butterscotch chips in a heat-safe bowl.  Add the heavy cream and butter to a small sauce pan.  Bring to a slight boil and remove from heat.  Pour directly over the chips and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Gently stir the mixture until smooth and shiny.
 If adding the caramel, gently fill the hole using a small spoon and smooth over the top evenly.
Dip the brownie upside down in the ganache and rotate slowly to cover evenly.  Place on a wire rack with a cookie sheet underneath to catch any drippings.
Sprinkle with color sugar or fancy-pants sprinkles.

Store in an airtight container...if you can keep them around long enough!   

Enjoy & Happy Holidays xxx

Brownie recipe courtesy of Hershey's

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