Buckeye Turtle Brownies are an easy recipe that takes gooey caramel pecan turtle brownies and raises it with a fluffy layer of peanut butter and melted chocolate. Your sweet tooth will rejoice with the ultimate decadent brownie recipe!
The Accidental Creation of Buckeye Turtle Brownies
In the world of food blogging there are plenty of fails. Recipes and ideas often play out perfectly in my head, but then in real life…not so much.
These Buckeye Turtle Brownies were created from trying to simplify a turtle candy recipe. In theory it was foolproof, but then, I hit some strike outs. (Full disclosure: A LOT🤨)
I couldn’t bear to thrown away another batch of caramels and pecans, so I whipped up my favorite homemade brownie recipe, spread a fluffy peanut butter topping on, and drizzled a turtle topping on top.
HUGE success. In fact, this Buckeye Turtles Brownies recipe even caught the eye of Better Homes and Gardens on Instagram. That’s what I like to call Entering-the-Big-Leagues.
I was pretty smitten myself with the buckeye turtle combination. So much so the Easy Buckeye Turtles recipe was it’s brain child.
Besides, screw simplifying turtle candies. It hasn’t been done because it’s obviously not humanly possible. We’ll go with that, mmmK?
How to Make Buckeye Turtle Brownies
- Make brownies in a 9X13 pan. My favorite brownie recipe to use is the homemade fudgy brownie recipe or almond flour brownies (doubling recipe).
- Melt caramels and milk together in a microwave safe bowl.
- Remove caramels just before they melt fully so they don’t become hard when cooled. Stir until caramels are smooth and then add pecans. Pour caramel turtle mixture over cooled brownies.
- Mix together peanut butter layer ingredients – powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, and milk.
- Peanut butter layer will be thick and can be pressed on with fingers.
- Spread melted chocolate over peanut butter layer and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks for Making Buckeye Turtle Brownies
- If you like a little salty with your sweet, sprinkle fleur de sel, or Maldon salt, or course sea salt on top. These special finishing salts are great on baked goods because they don’t dissolve and hold their integrity.
- The key to melting caramels and chocolate is to NOT heat them until completely smooth. Microwave until just about melted and then stir until completely smooth. The residual heat will finish the melting and you will ensure it not being overheated.
- The peanut butter layer can be a little tricky to spread. Just get all in and press it down with your fingers (see video). Then, lick fingers clean.🤙
- This recipe works fine for your standard Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownies as well. Omit caramel and chopped pecans.
- I usually melt chocolate chips for toppings because I always have them on hand. However, sometimes the chocolate “blooms,” or gets little white spots after it cools. It doesn’t affect the taste, but doesn’t look as pretty. For the best tips on melting chocolate perfectly check out this how to make chocolate bark article. Another option: eat the entire pan the same day made. What bloomed chocolate? 🤫
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Buckeye Turtle Brownies
- 1 9X13 brownie recipe, I use my favorite Brownie Recipe
- 11 oz. bag of caramels, unwrapped
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Peanut Butter Topping:
- 6 tbsp. butter, softened
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp. milk
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
- fleur de sel or coarse sea salt, optional
- Bake your 9X13 brownie mix or recipe according to directions. If you are using my favorite homemade brownie recipe, do not mix in the last cup of chocolate chips before baking. Cool brownies completely.
- In a microwave safe bowl place caramels and milk and heat on high for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes**, stopping to stir intermittently. Remove immediately just after caramels are almost smooth. Pour in chopped pecans, mix, and scoop in spoonfuls over brownies immediately. TIP: Use a piece of waxed paper greased with cooking spray to press down and spread. Don't worry if it doesn't cover brownies completely, you'll be covering it with other layers.
- For the peanut butter topping*, beat all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well mixed (will be very thick). Scoop spoonfuls of peanut butter topping all over turtle topping. Press and spread the peanut butter topping gently using fingers.
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