Tilly's Brownies (Frosted Fudge Brownies with Caramel) ~ Writer in the Kitchen
Updated: Jul 22, 2020
About Writer in the Kitchen, aka MK's Cookery: I love to be in the kitchen. Once upon a time I was going to be a pastry chef, and though my life took a different path (glad it did), my love for baking and cooking has never gone away. You can always find more on my Recipe page.
There is a story behind the name: Tilly's Brownies. In my fictional town of Briarwood—home to many delightful people in my Montana Gallagher book series—is Tilly's Cafe. While these brownies are not at all realistic for a nineteenth-century baker, we named them in honor of Tilly, whose baked goods (especially pie) are lauded among the townsfolk of Briarwood.
These are a frosted fudge brownie with caramel, but that's not all! Within these gooey and chewy treats are mini chocolate chips, toffee chips, pecans, and more homemade caramel swirled throughout before baking.
Did you know that chocolate chips were an accidental creation? Back in the 1930s, Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, cut up chunks of chocolate and added them to cookies. Thank you, Ruth!
Did you know that brownies were originally made with molasses? It wasn't until the very end of the nineteenth-century, and early twentieth century, that chocolate was added. Whoever decided to add that first bit of chocolate way back when deserves a baking prize.
Did you know that a form of caramel has been around since the 1600s? "It is recorded that about 1650 American settlers were making hard candies in kettles. Between this time and the early 1880's, some ingenious candy maker added fat and milk while boiling sugar and water, creating what is now known as caramel." (Everyday Health)
Did you know (last one) that toffee has been around at least since 1825, when it was first added to the Oxford English Dictionary? The first use is not precisely known, but it is possible that Tilly would have used broken up bits of toffee in her brownies.
While this is most definitely a modern recipe, such delightful desserts would not be possible without the ingenious thinking of pioneer bakers who experimented and created the base recipes that we use today.
I cannot stress enough how much I love these brownies. That's right, it is not just "like" or mere enjoyment. When done right, these brownies are a truly sinful experience. Don't forget to download the caramel sauce recipe, courtesy of Carole Broom, before you get started. I have tried many caramel recipes over the years, and while they all are similar, this one has risen to the top as my all-time favorite.
Enjoy, and thank you for visiting!