Another fabulous recipe from David Lebovitz, adapted from The Violet Bakery Cookbook (2015) by Claire Ptak. These blondies appeared on our kitchen counter for the first time in 2015 at the beach Thanksgiving. I awarded Butterscotch Caramel Blondies the title “Best Dessert I Ever Made”, an accolade not lightly given. Of course they do contain chocolate.
For more detailed instructions on making caramel, check out David Lebovitz’s post How To Make the Perfect Caramel. You can use either milk chocolate or dark chocolate, chopped in irregular pieces, roughly the size of shelled almonds.
Use a silicone baking mat for the caramel. A lightly greased baking sheet will do, but work fast as the caramel cools quickly.
For the caramel:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
For the blondie batter:
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
1 teaspoon kosher or flaky sea salt
4 ½ ounces chopped good-quality milk or dark chocolate (bittersweet or semisweet)
To make the caramel, melt the granulated sugar in a skillet or wide saucepan until the sugar melts. Stir gently, only enough to encourage it all to melt evenly. Once it’s a deep amber brown, immediately pour the caramel on a silicone baking mat or lightly greased baking sheet. Quickly lift and tilt the silicone sheet or baking sheet so the caramel is as thin as possible. Set aside to cool, then break into shards.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF . Butter a 9″ by 13″ pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a small pot over low heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until light and smooth. Whisk in the slightly cooled melted butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a spatula, gradually add the flour mixture to the eggs and butter, almost until completely combined. Add the chocolate pieces and mix just until combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the shards of caramel over the surface of the batter and bake until the center just feels like it’s just set, but is still quite soft, about 30 minutes. Best to err on the side of underbaking than overbaking as you want them soft in the middle when cool.
Let cool in the pan and cut into squares. Although just fine eaten the same day they are made, I found them even better the second day as the caramel pieces mellowed and melded better to the chewy blondies. And in the tradition of pure excess, you won’t regret warming the blondie in the microwave for 5 or 6 seconds and putting a scoop of vanilla ice cream nearby.
The blondies will keep for up to four days at room temperature, in an airtight container, or frozen for up to two months.