The Pioneer Woman cookbooks are my absolute favorite. I don't use them on a daily basis because they aren't always the healthiest recipes, but man are they delicious. I made her turtle brownies a couple of weeks ago when our family came into town, and they were a huge hit. Turtle brownies are the bomb anyway, but these take it to the next level. The Pioneer Woman actually calls them "Knock You Naked Brownies"- even she said she doesn't know why. Call them what you will, they are flat out amazing. Don't let the long directions be intimidating. They really are quite simple.
18.5 oz box of German chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup finely chopped pecans
60 caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup powdered sugar, optional (I left this out)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x9 baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, pour 1/3 cup of evaporated milk over cake mix. Add the melted butter and chopped pecans, and mix all ingredients together. The batter will be pretty thick.
3. Divide the dough in half down the middle and press the first half into the bottom of the pan to make the first brownie layer.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until set, then remove it from the oven and set aside.
5. While the brownie layer is baking, in a double boiler or a glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the caramels and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Stir occasionally until the caramels are totally melted and the mixture is smooth.
6. Poor the caramel mixture over the first baked layer, spreading so that it's evenly distributed. Sprinkle the chocolate chips all over the top.
7. Next, on a clean surface or a sheet of wax paper, press the remaining brownie dough into a square shape slightly smaller than the baking pan. Carefully set it on top of the chocolate chips and bake for 20-25 minutes.
8. Remove the pan from the oven and let the brownies cool to room temperature. Cover the pan and refrigerate the brownies for several hours to allow them to set.
9. When you're ready to serve, sprinkle brownies with powdered sugar if desired and cut them into large rectangles before removing them from the pan.