When it comes to brownies, are you a maximalist? Is bigger always better? Then try one of these decadent takes on the classic dessert.
1. Salted Caramel. Need friends fast? Sandwich caramel sauce between two layers of brownies and serve. (And if that’s not adventurous enough for you, try pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac’s Sriracha Caramel.) Or drizzle brownies with caramel’s cousin, dulce de leche.
2. Quadruple Chocolate. Chocolatier Michael Recchiuti is not satisfied with just one type of chocolate in his brownies. Nope, his idea of perfection includes a batter made with unsweetened chocolate and then bittersweet, milk and white chocolates swirled throughout and drizzled on top.
3. S’mores. To make brownies that are like the campfire snack, top them with marshmallows and broil after they’re done baking. Even better? Bake the batter in a graham cracker crust first.
4. Bacon-bourbon. Bacon can do double duty in brownies: The fat (along with bourbon) gets blended into the batter while the crisp bits are sprinkled on top.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.