You may have gathered, based on the desserts I’ve posted here, that I’m not a big chocolate person. I don’t dislike it or anything – it will just never be my first choice when it comes to desserts. This is a large part of the reason that I have somewhat abandoned my search for the perfect brownie (they’re all just so… CHOCOLATELY. Who would have guessed?) and have begun the search for the perfect BLONDIE. If you are unfamiliar, a blondie can be described in a couple ways: either as a brownie, minus the chocolate, or as an extra chewy, deep dish cookie. Basically, if you are the type of person that LOVES the brown sugar-y, chewy base of a chocolate chip cookie? Blondies are for you.
This blondie is basically my ideal dessert – it’s chewy, it’s got the perfect hit of salt to balance out all the brown sugar deliciousness, and it has just a TOUCH of chocolate. Perfection.
Salted Caramel and Toffee Blondies
Makes 12 large blondies
2 sticks of butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce (I use Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel sauce – but any variety will do!)
2/3 cup Heath Bar pieces
1.) Preheat your oven to 350°. Start by creaming the butter and sugar together, until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
2.) Add one egg at a time, mixing until fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
3.) Add baking powder and salt, and mix until incorporated. Add the flour in 3 additions, mixing until the flour is just incorporated each time.
4.) Gently fold in the Heath Bar bits with a rubber spatula, being careful not to overmix.
5.) Line a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick foil (or line it with regular foil, and spray generously with non-stick cooking spray), making sure there’s a bit of a foil overhang on at least two sides of the pan. Take half the blondie batter, and spread it into the pan so that it makes a thin layer, covering the bottom of the pan completely. This batter is pretty thick, so this will take a minute – I gave up on trying to spread it with a spatula after a minute, and just used my hands to smoosh it around. That worked much better.
6.) Pour your salted caramel sauce over the layer of batter, and use a spatula to spread it into a thin layer, going from edge to edge. If you were only able to find regular caramel sauce, go ahead and spread that out, and then sprinkle a bit of sea salt over it.
7.) Now you need to spread the remaining blondie batter over the caramel; I found that the best way to do this was to grab a handful of dough, smash it into a flat disk, and lay it on top of the caramel layer. I continued doing this until all the caramel was covered (filling in the gaps with little bits of dough where needed). It was a little tedious, but probably WAY easier than attempting to spread the dough out with a spatula!
8.) Bake at 350° for about 20-25 minutes, until the edges are a deep golden brown, and the center is light and golden.
Let the blondies cool for at least 45 minutes to an hour before you attempt to cut them; otherwise, they’ll make a big, gooey mess! When they’ve cooled, grab the foil overhang on the sides of the pan, and lift the entire pan of blondies out. Set them on a cutting board, and cut into squares.
The caramel sort of melts into the center of these blondies, making them even chewier and more gooey than they would be on their own. The top gets nice and crisp, but the inside stays moist and delicious – and those little bits of chocolate and toffee pair perfectly with the salt from the caramel. These are fabulous eaten on their own – but if you wanted to warm one up and top it with some vanilla ice cream? I certainly would not stop you.
Who needs a brownie when there are blondies to be had??