Is there anything better than peanut butter and chocolate? YES. Buckeye Turtle Brownies are an easy recipe that takes peanut butter and chocolate raises it with fudgy brownies, gooey caramel, pecan turtle topping.
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 Stop Looking 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?
STEP BY STEP – How to Make Buckeye Turtle Brownies
- Make brownies in a 9X13 pan. My favorite brownie recipe to use is the Stop Looking Brownie 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 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. If you want to avoid this, you may want to use chocolate melting wafers or higher quality / cocoa content chocolate chips. Another option: eat the entire pan the same day made. What bloomed chocolate? 🤫
SAVE THESE BUCKEYE TURTLE BROWNIES TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARD!
- 1 9X13 brownie recipe, I use the Stop Looking Brownie Recipe
- 11 oz. bag of caramels, unwrapped
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- 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, optional
Bake your 9X13 brownie mix or recipe according to directions. If you are using the Stop-Looking Brownie recipe do not mix in the last cup of chocolate chips before baking. Cool brownies completely.
In a microwaveable 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.
*If you want a more caramel tasting topping, halve peanut butter topping ingredients and keep caramel ingredients the same.
**The best ways to melt caramels and chocolate is to heat them until they are ALMOST melted. Remove from microwave and stir until mixture is smooth and all solid pieces are gone.
UPDATE: 6/18 I switched the order of the layers around because placing the turtle topping directly on brownies makes the layers stay put when slicing and eating.
❊SHOP THE RECIPE❊
Here are some items I used to make this recipe:
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