Hipy Papy Bthuthdth...brownie bites

Sometimes it comes down to quality over quantity.
This was one of those times.

The divine Mrs. S from last  years's Block Day Bake Off made a request at Sweetpea's graduation. She wanted caramel-pretzel-brownie cake balls for her birthday. That was today, the third day of the new school year.

However, she underwent a radical physical transformation over the summer. I don't know how much weight she's lost, but it's impressive.

So, I asked: Still want those cake balls? Far be it from me to sabotage that kind of effort.

ONE, she answered.


Oookaaay. I eat more than that while making them. (Which, when taken together with the pain au chocolate I ate with alacrity the whole time we were in France, might explain why I did NOT experience dramatic weight loss this summer.)

While I have used boxed mixes and Kraft caramels to make these babies (and no one seems to mind), I figured if she was only going to have one, it needed to be a darned good one.

I think I actually achieved "darned good."  This from-scratch brownie recipe, baked an extra few minutes until it was set. This caramel recipe, cut in half but otherwise exactly as written. About 40 minutes for all, start to finish, while getting supper ready. Oh, my.

Because these are such moist brownies, they're made with no icing or chocolate syrup as binder. Trust me: it's okay. You won't miss it at all. Here's how.

Start by baking your brownies and making your caramel. Let both cool completely while you prepare the center and pretzel spikes.

Once you have your pretzel bits and your caramel center ready, it's time to make your "cake" balls.

Interesting note: Done this way, it's not necessary to commit to making 
a huge batch of cake balls. If you need only a few for a teacher or neighbor 
gift, this is the way to go.

Now you have a stuffed brownie ball. Super easy, right?

All that's left is to spike it with extra pretzel bits and dip it in chocolate.

It wasn't even my birthday today, but I felt pretty special after eating one of these. Happy birthday, Mrs. S. I hope you felt special, too!

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