Turtle Surprise Brownies

It’s not New Years yet, which means most of us still have a couple more days to indulge before the resolutions take over. So you better try these in the next few days! They are still more healthy than your typical brownie but they do have some extra sugar and calories for the turtle center. I’d trade the taste of these brownies for any number of calories though! They have a gooey, caramel center complete with mixed nuts, sandwiched in between two layers of cakey brownie. Oh so good… This serves about 16

1 package of brownie mix (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup water
¼ cup applesauce
1 over ripe banana
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar or honey
½ cup butter (I used Earth Balance Dairy free)
1 Tbsp milk
1 cup mixed chopped nuts (I used pecans, peanuts and almonds)

In a large mixing bowl, blend together brownie mix, water, applesauce, banana, oil and vanilla until smooth. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add in sugar, milk and vanilla until boiling. Boil for about 7 minutes or until sugar is complete dissolved. In a greased 9×13 baking pan, spread half of the brownie batter. Sprinkle mixed nuts over batter and pour over caramel sauce evenly. Top with remaining batter. Bake at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes or until brownies are cooked through. 

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