In December 2010, the Advocate cover story featured recipes that had been passed from generation to generation. Many families cling to their favorite recipe cards that have been passed down…that is if your family cook was willing to share them. My great great great Aunt Blanche was an incredible bakerella in her day. She started her very own bakery/candy shop in the 1920’s. Because of her, there is thick sugar running through my blood. I happen to be in possession of some of her handwritten recipe books; pages almost transparent and stained with gooey goodness. Needless to say, I channel dear Aunt Blanche when baking and when scouting out new recipes. I feel like she would have loved this one.

Knock You Naked Brownies
recipe and photo by Ree Drummond (my absolute favorite living cook)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 23 Minutes
Servings: 12

1 box (18.5 Ounce) German Chocolate Cake Mix (I use Duncan Hines)
1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
⅓ cups Evaporated Milk
½ cups Evaporated Milk (additional)
½ cups Butter, Melted
60 whole Caramels, Unwrapped
⅓ cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
¼ cups Powdered Sugar

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.

Press half the mixture into a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water) melt caramels with additional 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When melted and combined, pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.

Turn out remaining brownie dough on work surface. Use your hands to press it into a large square a little smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to remove it from the surface, then set it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to serve, generously sift powdered sugar over the surface of the brownies. Cut into either nine or twelve helpings, and carefully remove from the pan.

These brownies don’t really knock you naked…but almost. I make mine without nuts to suit the picky eater in my house. No names…but you know.

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