This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit the disclosures and privacy policy page.
Dec 3, 2022

Heart of Darkness Brownies

These Heart of Darkness Brownies are loaded with rich chocolate, chopped Snickers Bars, chocolate chips, and toasted pecans, and then topped with melted marshmallows and caramel. 

Heart of Darkness Brownies on a cake stand.

These heart of darkness brownies are ridiculous, in a very good way. Dark chocolate. Caramel. Marshmallows. Chocolate chips. Roasted pecans. Snickers bars. These brownies are about the most gooey and messy dessert... and well worth it. 

These brownies are baked in muffin tins mostly because they would be too hard to cut apart due to their gooey-ness. Plus, they are such cute little packages. 

Heart of Darkness Brownies on a cooling rack.

The hardest part of making these brownies was getting them out of the muffin tins. I used to have some silicone muffin pans that would be perfect for these, but, regretfully, I gave them away a long time ago. 

Hints for de-panning these brownies: 

Run a knife around the sides of each brownie in the muffin tin one at a time, and then tip the the pan over to gently let the brownie drop out into your hand. 

If a chunk of a brownie remains in the muffin tin, dig it out and paste it onto the bottom or sides of the brownie/muffin. Once the brownie cools, it holds together. Don't panic.

My favorite baking non-stick spray is bak-klene ZT. It's the best. If you make a lot of bundt cakes, it's really works. 

You could also make up a mixture of 1 part oil, 1 part shortening, and 1 part flour and paint it on the inside of the muffin cavities. 

Heart of Darkness Brownies on a plate and in a bowl.

But don't worry if they isn't that the point of gooey desserts?

Ingredients You Will Need for These Brownies:

Unsalted butter. You don't need to worry about getting it to room temperature because you will be melting it.

Unsweetened chocolate. Baker's Chocolate will work just fine. 

Raw pecans: Be sure to chop and toast them. 

Pantry Ingredients: Large eggs, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, granulated and brown sugar, semi-sweet chocolate chips, salt, and heavy cream. 

Caramel candies: If you have the individually wrapped candies, you will need about 13. 

Snickers Bars: The oddest part of making these brownies involved the search for the Snickers bars. The original recipe calls for full sized 2.07 ounce bars. Evidently, Mars downsized Snickers to 1.88 ounces in 2013 (and now to 1.86 ounces). 

Reality? It really doesn't make a huge difference, but, just in case, I've provide the ounces/grams in the ingredient list. 

Heart of Darkness Brownies on small plates.

These brownies are amazing. I'm just saying.

How to Make These Brownies:

First, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate together in a saucepan. Pour the ingredients into a bowl and add the sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, pecans, chocolate chips, and chopped Snickers bars. 

Bake the brownies and then top them with the marshmallows and then bake them for a couple of minutes more until the marshmallows melt a bit. 

Drizzle the tops of the brownies with the caramel topping and let it harden. 

Heart of Darkness Brownies on a cake stand.

These brownies are totally decadent. 

Ingredient Substitutions and Recipe Variations:

If you like, you can substitute almonds or walnuts for the pecans. 

For the Snickers, you could easily substitute Milky Way Bars, especially if you don't care for peanuts. 

If you like, you can use a culinary torch to brown the tops of the marshmallows. 

You could also top the caramel with a  bit of flaked sea salt for the salted caramel flavor. 

Heart of Darkness Brownies overheat shot.

Best Brownie Recipes from Our Dinner Table Group:

From Our Dinner Table logo.

We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

This is an updated post, originally published on March 4, 2013. I've added updated photos along with enhanced instructions and a printable recipe card. 

Heart of Darkness Brownies on a cake stand.

Heart of Darkness Brownies

Heart of Darkness Brownies
Yield: 12 Brownies
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 1 HourCook time: 22 MinTotal time: 1 H & 22 M
These Heart of Darkness Brownies are loaded with rich chocolate, chopped Snickers Bars, chocolate chips, and toasted pecans, and topped with melted marshmallows and caramel.


For the Brownies
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) of unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, whisked together in a small bowl
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 91 grams (3.2 ounces/3/4 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted in a 350 degree F oven for 8 minutes
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 3/4 full-sized Snicker bars, cut into 1/2 inch squares (5.17 ounces/146 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows
For the Caramel Topping
  • 3 ounces (about 13) unwrapped caramel candies
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a nonstick 12 cup muffin tins with baking spray.
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate in a sauce pan over low heat until fully blended.
  4. Pour the butter/chocolate mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Stir in the sugars.
  6. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until fully combined.
  7. Sift the flour and salt through a sieve into the chocolate mixture and stir just until blended.
  8. Add the pecans, chocolate chips, and Snickers pieces.
  9. Divide the dough between the muffin cups, about a half cup per muffin cavity.
  10. Bake the brownies for 20 minutes, until they have a shiny cracked "brownie" surface.
  11. Remove the brownies from the oven and top each one with the mini marshmallows, dividing them evenly among the brownies.
  12. Return the brownies to the oven for two minutes until the marshmallow begin to puff up and slighly melt.
  13. Place the brownie pan on a wire rack and cool the brownies in the pans for about 10 minutes.
  14. As the brownies are cooling, run a thin knife around each brownie to loosen them from the pan.
  15. Remove the brownies from the muffin tin to cool on a rack.
  16. While the brownies are cooling, make the caramel sauce.
  17. Combine the sauce ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until smooth, stirring in between.
  18. Drizzle the caramel over each brownie and let the caramel harden.
  19. These brownies will keep for up to three days covered in an air tight container.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)


Sat. Fat (grams)


Carbs (grams)


Fiber (grams)


Net carbs


Sugar (grams)


Protein (grams)


Sodium (milligrams)


Cholesterol (grams)

brownies, caramel
Did you make this recipe?
Tag on instagram and hashtag it # karenskitchenstories

Recipe adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth, by Jill O'Connor, published in 2007. I've made several recipes from the book, and they are all outstanding. 

She also has a companion book, Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Treats for Kids

Would you like to comment?

  1. They look so simple but there´s so much going on with these bites. Amazing! Simply wonderful and I bet addictive.

    1. Totally, Paula. I sent some home with a colleague for her kids, and her 5 year old told her to tell me that he loved me even though we've never me =)

  2. OOOOOOOOOOMMMYYYYYYYY Karen .. this is heavenly ... I want some asap!!!!! Deliciously chocolately goodness... love it!

  3. So many yummmy components of your fabulous brownies! Winners for sure!!!

  4. Messy or not, I will take a few of these any day!

  5. I have no words! My goodness, those are fantastic. The more gooey the better!

  6. You can't go wrong with all of that gooey caramel goodness!

  7. Your brownies are a kid's dream come true! And some foodies, too =)
    Thank you for sharing this recipe and tips, Karen.

  8. Wow, these brownie cups are awesome looking, I love all those ingredients. I know whoever got to eat these was in chocolate caramel heaven.

  9. I think I died and went to heaven. Those brownies look delish!

  10. Yum!! They have everything I'm looking for in a dessert! Next time I'm making something chocolate-y I'll definitely join your linky party!

  11. Oh, I just saw that it was on Roxana's page. But it sure looks like an awesome party!

  12. It seems to me that brownies that don't quite make it out of the pan in their "pretty" state would be just perfect for my mouth! After all, you can't share the broken ones, right? ;)

  13. The gooeyer the better. These brownies look amazing. And I totally lol when you said you decided to make something from a cook book you already own. I think the same thing and continue to buy tons of cookbooks off of amazon weekly and they just sit there and look pretty! oops!


    What chocolate do you stir with the butter in step 3:
    "Melt the butter and chocolate in a sauce pan over low heat until fully blended"
    if you add the chocolate chips and snicker pieces latter?

    Can't wait to try this out.

    1. Hi, oops, I left out a very important ingredient. It's 6 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. I just fixed the ingredient list.

    2. Thank you so much for the reply and the great recipe!

  15. Oh my...oooey gooey indeed! These look incredible!

  16. Holy cow! Now THESE are a decadent brownie! I love all the goodies in them from the Snickers to marshmallows to caramel.

  17. Oh dang! These are packed with so much goodness! I can usually pass on brownies but it's a whole other story when you add caramel. I think I'll be fighting my husband for these!

    1. Yeah, I'm always up for chocolate with caramel. Thanks!

  18. YUM! These look sinfully rich and delicious.

  19. How can you fit so many great ingredients into one lil' ol' brownie? These look and sound AMAZING!

  20. Oh wow - these look so decadent and delicious! Love all the toppings.

    1. Between the toppings and the fillings, right?!


I would love to hear from you! If you comment anonymously, be sure to leave your name in your comment.