Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Luscious Caramel-Brownie Bites

Caramel brownie bites

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

First off, yum.

Second off, someone from Portland, OR, employs corn syrup in a recipe? I will confess, this made me feel better about myself, because I am not adverse to using corn syrup, and it proves that not everyone in the Northwest is living the Portlandia-life.

Third off, YUM again: here's a recipe, contributed by Marjean Bigelow of Portland, Oregon, for "Luscious Caramel-brownie bites". As she says, "Double desserts are doubly good! Bake brownies in flaky pie crust and then double the indulgence with ganache and caramel!". Here's the recipe.

Luscious Caramel-brownie bites

makes 36

  • 1bag (14 oz) caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/2cup whipping cream
  • 1box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  • 1/2cup Fisher® Chef’s Naturals® Chopped Pecans, finely chopped
  • 1box (15.9 oz) Pillsbury® Chocolate Extreme Premium Brownie Mix
  • 1/3cup Crisco® Pure Canola Oil
  • 3tablespoons water
  • 1LAND O LAKES® Egg
  • 2/3cup Hershey's® semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
  • 1tablespoon light corn syrup


  1. In medium microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and 1/4 cup of the cream on High 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Cool 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, spray 36 mini muffin cups with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Unroll pie crusts; roll each into 13-inch round. Using 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut 18 rounds from each crust, rerolling dough if necessary. Gently press each round on bottom and up side of muffin cup. Spoon scant 1/2 teaspoon pecans in bottom of each cup. Spoon about 1 teaspoon caramel mixture over pecans in each cup (cup will be 1/2 full); reserve remaining caramel mixture.
  3. Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix (with syrup packet), oil, water and egg 50 strokes with spoon. Spoon 1 level tablespoon brownie batter into each cup.
  4. Bake 18 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted into edge of brownie comes out clean. Cool in pans on cooling racks 10 minutes. Run knife around edges of cups to loosen; carefully remove from cups. Place on cooking racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, to make ganache glaze, in small microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 1/4 cup cream and chocolate chips on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Stir in corn syrup until blended. Spoon ganache over each brownie. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until ganache is set.
  6. Microwave reserved caramel mixture on High 20 to 30 seconds if necessary for drizzling consistency. Drizzle each brownie with about 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.