Caramel Pecan {Turtle} Brownies

Last week when I was at Target, I stumbled upon mini Rolos. Stephen and I love trying new candy so I grabbed a few small bags of them and went on my way. When I got home I opened one of the bags and realized that they were about ¼” smaller than the normal ones. I was slightly disappointed because I was expecting them to be small enough to go in cookies. So I scratched the idea of cookies and decided to make brownies with them. I’ve always loved turtle cheesecake and turtle candies, so I melted down the Rolos, combined them with additional caramel, chocolate and nuts, and created turtle brownies. The brownie itself is neither too fudgy or cakey. It is however, rich, and of course the topping only adds to it. I think this was a great way to liven up brownies! I think you’ll agree too!

Caramel Pecan {Turtle} Brownies
Ingredients
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs

¾ c. cocoa powder (Hershey’s)
1 c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. espresso powder
Topping:
1½ c. Rolo chocolate candies, (melted in a microwave safe bowl
with 1 tbsp. butter + 2 tbsp. heavy cream and mixed until smooth)
⅓ c. caramel ice cream topping
½ c. chopped pecans
½ c. mini chocolate chips
chocolate ganache (2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped +
¼ c. heavy cream, melted and mixed until smooth)
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until melted. Gradually add sugar until it begins to dissolve. Remove from heat and stir in espresso powder and vanilla extract. 
3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well with a spatula or wooden spoon after each addition.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; whisk until combined. Slowly pour into wet ingredients, mix until combined (scrape the bottom of the bowl and the sides to make sure you get all of the dry pockets). Stir in ¼ c. mini chocolate chips and ¼ c. pecans. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Drizzle caramel evenly over the brownies. Using a toothpick, swirl caramel into brownies. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and spread prepared Rolo topping over while brownies are hot. Sprinkle with remaining mini chocolate chips and pecans. Return to oven for 3-5 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow brownies to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack (30 minutes or so). Once cool, drizzle with chocolate ganache. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into squares and serve.
Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod, Caramel Twix Brownies | Makes approximately 24 small squares