Knock-You-Naked Brownies

Who doesn’t like brownies?

There are probably very few who would say that they do not. What’s so great about brownies anyway? Well, for starters, they are made with chocolate. With that said, I could pretty much stop here. Chocolate makes anything better.

But, I’ll proceed with other good things to say about brownies. They are delicious. And, you can add other ingredients to make it your own. They are great to make for large groups, and bake sales. Brownies are EASY to make. This last reason alone makes it a favorite for busy moms to make.

I watch The Food Network, and came across a recipe by Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman). Her Knock-You-Naked Brownies entail caramel oozing from the middle layer. Do I pass up on making these? No way.

“I like it, Aunt Carmen”…says Madden (in between bites).

My nephew and his mom were visiting and I decided to make these for them.
I loved the caramel in the center. It really made these, ‘over the top fabulous’, because of this. It’s a great go to recipe if using a cake box mix. I would try this again, using a brownie recipe from scratch.

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A visit to

The Able Baker

With my nephew Madden and his mom Lauren

 Speaking of baking, there is a bakery in the town of Maplewood, NJ that I was told was a good place to visit. I stopped by with Madden and Lauren. He had a chocolate cupcake, which looked so moist. Lauren and I had Chocolate Chip Scones. Really good! I’ll have to go back and try their cupcakes. I love cupcakes.

The Able Baker
187 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood NJ 07040
Order by phone:

Order by email:

“Julie Pauly is a master baker. After a long career working in retail she lost her job in 2008. Not wanting to return to the 9-5 world she decided to follow her passion for baking. She emailed 35 friends to tell them of her plans and within a year had over 1,000 customers. Now she owns a The Able Baker, an instant hit in her community and the fulfillment of her dream.”

This is Julie’s story. See video, For the Love of Butter, created by Catherine Stratton.

“Catherine Stratton is a documentary filmmaker and educator. She has a Masters in Education from Harvard University and studied documentary filmmaking at The New School.” Visit her website at

My nephew Madden, with his mom, Lauren, visit The Able Baker, as I take photos.

Now, onto baking The Pioneer Woman’s brownie recipe.

Knock-You-Naked Brownies

By The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond)

Adapted by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen

Prep Time: 15 min
Inactive Prep Time: 3 hr
Cook Time: 35 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 6 servings


• 1 stick butter, melted, plus more for greasing
• All-purpose flour, for dusting
• 1/3 plus 1/2 cup evaporated milk
• One 18.5-ounce box German chocolate cake mix
• 1 cup finely chopped pecans
• 60 caramels, unwrapped (I used only one bag, about 50 pieces)
• 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
• Kosher Salt (optional) – sprinkle a pinch on caramel layer


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease and flour a 9-by-9-inch baking pan.( I add parchment paper to an 8×8 pan)

Pour 1/3 cup evaporated milk into a bowl with the cake mix.
Add the melted butter and chopped pecans.
Mix. Batter will be thick, dough-like.
Divide the dough in half to form two dough pieces.
Press one dough piece into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake until slightly set, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside.
To make caramel sauce: Set up a double boiler (or glass bowl set over a bowl of simmering water).
Add the caramels and remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk.
Stir occasionally until the caramels are melted and mixture is smooth.
Pour caramel mixture over the first baked layer, spread evenly. Tip: tilt the pan.

Sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt over caramel. (optional)
Sprinkle the chocolate chips all over the top.
On a clean surface or a sheet of waxed paper, press the remaining dough into a square shape slightly smaller than the baking pan.
For ease of setting it on top of caramel, cut it in half. (my addition)
Carefully set both dough pieces on top of the chocolate chips.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

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. (I did not refrigerate the brownies)
To serve: Cut into rectangle or square pieces. Sprinkle confectioners sugar on brownies.

Best with a cold glass of milk.


To see The Pioneer Woman’s fabulous photo tutorial, go to her blog, click HERE.

Peace in Baking,


Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul

Photography by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen
– all rights reserved.
Must not use photos without permission.

About Baking is my Zen

Love to is my peaceful time. ~ Baking is my Zen ~
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10 Responses to Knock-You-Naked Brownies

  1. What a great kid-friendly recipe!

  2. Shame on you for tempting me this way! 🙂 Beautiful pictures and a fabulous post! Thanks for sharing. P.S. I LOVE caramel.

    • Catherine, LOL!! Your recipes are tempting too! 🙂 Yes, caramel makes things better. Look forward to using a brownie recipe from scratch…no cake box mix for me…


  3. These look AMAZING!!!

  4. says:

    Beautiful brownies! So very decadent looking!

  5. Jill says:

    Awesome Recipe 🙂
    These are great… here is another recipe you might like to try.
    Thanks for sharing,

Comments are closed.