I’m A Winner : {Le Mignon Macaron}

IMG_6937Le Mignon Macarons recently had a giveaway via their Instagram account for a free dozen macarons…and I won!  I was so excited and they were so delish that I had to share about it.  Le Mignon sells macarons for weddings, parties, and to order just for yourself haha.  Go on and check them out!  I received three flavors: Salted Caramel, Matcha Green Tea, and Vanilla.  They were all so delicious…I think the green tea was my fave! (My hubby’s was the caramel).
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Salted Caramel Brownie Bites

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Hands down my favorite dessert is Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownies, topped with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge.  But a close second is Haagen Daz Sea Salt Caramel Gelato.
So when it was time to plan my dessert dish for the wine party I started googling salted caramel brownies to combine my two sweet loves!  I came across a salted caramel brownie bites recipe and was inspired!  I made just a few changes to the recipe and they came out exactly how I wanted…and yes I have some left over from the party in the fridge and can’t stop snacking on them.
I have included the recipe with my changes, enjoy!
*Makes approximately 4 dozen brownie bites
Ingredients: 

Brownies:

  • 2 boxes of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
  • A dime size piece of soft caramel for each brownie bite  (You will most likely have to cut your caramels)

*Feel free to add white chocolate chips (Which I did) or nuts if you want to add a different flavor
Frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 20 caramels
  • 2 T. heavy cream
  • 
2 c. powdered sugar (Have some extra just incase you need to adjust the consistency)
  • Kosher sea salt
  • One Box of Cream Cheese

Directions:

Brownies:
  • Preheat oven to 325. Mix brownie batter as directed and add in any extra ingredients you desire.
  • Grease mini-cupcake pan, and fill cups 1/3 full with batter. Place a caramel in each, and fill the rest of the way with batter. Be sure to cover caramel but dont push caramel to the bottom of the pan or it will stick when cooking.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, let cool, and gently remove from pan. (THIS IS KEY! Do not cook longer or they get very hard after cooling, and be VERY careful when removing from the pan and make sure they are cool.  Sometimes the caramel cooks to the bottom and sticks. This makes it  hard to get them out.  I have found twisting them as I pull them out of the pan helps release the caramel.)

Frosting:

  • Melt the caramel with the heavy cream by microwaving for 30 seconds increments and stirring in between.  When you take it out of the microwave, the cream and caramel will be separated in the bow.  You just  need to vigorously mix it until it is combined and smooth.   Then allow it to cool in the fridge for about 25 minutes.
  • Whip the butter  and cream cheese for about 30 seconds on med-high speed, until fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar and then the melted caramel, reserving just a little to top the brownies. Beat until fluffy.  (You may need to add more powdered sugar if the consistency isn’t quite right for piping.
  • Add  the salt, a 1/4 to a 1/2 t. at a time, mixing and then tasting after each addition to make sure you don’t add too much.
  • Use a pastry bag to pipe a little of the frosting in a swirl on top of each cooled brownie. Top with a hint of a drizzle of the reserved caramel, and another little dash of sea salt. Of course I had to add gold sugar crystals.   (If you need to make more caramel drizzle for the brownies the cream is key!  If you do not add cream the caramel will be too chewy when eating).

*You can make these ahead of time and store in the refrigerator  just make sure to give them about an hour to defrost before serving to ensure the caramel inside the brownie is not too chewy or hard from cooling.

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(Originally inspired by freshlyminted.com)