Knock You Naked Brownies – Williams College Style

It is an exciting weekend in the Miness household this weekend; the Carolina Panthers play in their second playoff game of the post-season on Saturday (Go Panthers), and The Golden Globes are Sunday!  While I love football, and the food and fun that accompany it, award shows just make me feel happy.  The Red Carpet, the fashion, the stars, and the actual award ceremony itself, make me giddy.  So as a treat, I am making something sweet, knock you nakeds!

While the professional athletes leave it all on the field and Hollywood’s elite strut their stuff on the red carpet, I will indulge in these chocolatey gooey brownies, squeeze into my sweat pants, and enjoy the show.

Oh Happy Day!

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While teaching tennis at the Nike Tennis Camp at Williams College I became obsessed with these amazingly decadent caramel brownies (I also met my husband there, a double bonus).  I found myself hoping that everyday when we went to lunch, or dinner, these beauties would be just waiting for me at the dessert counter, of course they weren’t, but a girl can dream.  Ever since then I have dreamt about these brownies, and was so excited to see Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) making these on her show one day.  I made her version, and while they were delicious, they were not exactly like the ones I came to love at Williams.  That taste test sent me on the hunt for the Williams College brownies, and led me to their head baker, Jerry D’Achille (my grandmother’s friend from Hoosick Falls, thanks for the hookup, Gram!).

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Jerry and I chatted, and I got to baking, and baking, and baking…here is the result!

Knock You Naked’s

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake
  • 1 stick butter, melted (and a little more for greasing the pan)
  • 1/3 plus 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 60 unwrapped caramels, such as Kraft

Audrey displays the caramels!

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • flour, for dusting the pan

In a double boiler (I just use a glass bowl over a saucepan) begin melting the 60 unwrapped caramels (a perfect job for kids, Audrey (and Andy) were given this task) and 1/2 cup evaporated milk.  This process takes the longest so I like to get it going while I do the other prep).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour (light dusting) 9×9 cake pan, set aside.

Combine Devil’s Food Cake mix, melted butter, and 1/3 cup evaporated milk and stir until well combined.  This mixture is thick, but spreads nicely with your hands.  Scoop a touch more than half of the mixture into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly.  I start with my spatula, but always finish with what Ina Garten calls the best kitchen tools, clean hands!  Bake this portion for 10 minutes, remove, and allow to cool (and I’m sure your caramels are still melting, so it works out perfectly).

Once the caramel/milk combo is melted and smooth, pour on top of the cooled, baked bottom layer of brownie goodness.  Then sprinkle 1/3 cup chocolate chips over the caramel.  With the remaining cake mixture, crumble it over the top of the caramel and chocolate chips.  Don’t feel like every inch needs to be covered because the crumbles spread out.  Bake for an additional 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  These brownies are best when refrigerated for a bit to allow them to firm up.  The cooling process takes a few hours, and this is why I usual make these a day in advance.

Cut into whatever size bites you desire, and ENJOY!  And feel free to do whatever you want with your clothes after eating, if it’s getting naked, then so be it.

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