These are fun to make because you get to make homemade salted caramel for them! I totally thought I was going to mess up the caramel on my first try, but it is surprisingly easy! My one thing about caramel or any sort of glaze or sauce you make by melting sugar is that you should be very very careful! Hot sugar will peel the skin right off your finger, so please be careful making it. I did fine with it this time, but unfortunately I know from experience that this is true. So don't make this recipe with kids, or at least have them stay away fro the caramel while you make it, and be careful when adding the butter and cream because the mixture will bubble up. Now, it's not like it's going to spurt everywhere and potentially burn your face, but just be aware that the bubbles can be dangerous if not controlled (and kept away from your skin). Also, these blondies are very very gooey, so just beware. I described the technique I used to cut the bars and remove them from the tinfoil below, which if you are having the same problem I had of them being stuck to the tinfoil, I suggest you use. So there's my speech on hot sugar and gooeyness, now go enjoy these wonderful blondies!
Salted Caramel Blondies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ¾ cups light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- sea salt, for sprinkling
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- ¼ cup cream
- ¾ tsp. sea salt
Make the caramel sauce: In a small saucepan, add the sugar in an even layer and heat on medium-high heat. Start to whisk once you can see the sugar melting on the sides. Continue whisking until no more lumps of sugar remain. Stop whisking and let sit, swirling the pan if necessary, until the caramel reaches a reddish-brown color, like a deep amber. Once it is this color, remove from the heat immediately to avoid burning the caramel. Add the butter right away and whish to combine, being careful of the high volume of bubbling. Carefully add the cream slowly and whisk, still being careful because it will bubble a lot. Add the sea salt and whisk; set aside to cool while making blondies.
Make the blondies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Melt the butter in a small heatproof bowl, then transfer to a large, heatproof bowl (to help it cool before adding the eggs). Add the brown sugar and mix until no lumps remain. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture and gently fold until no streaks remain.
Assemble the blondies: Add half the blondie batter to the pan and spread to make an even layer. Pour the caramel on top evenly. Then, drop the rest of the batter by the spoonful until the top layer is completely covered. I even picked up balls of dough with my hands as if it was really slimy cookie dough, then flattened it a bit, then used it to cover the caramel, which worked very well. Do your best to then spread out the dough gently to make a more even layer.
Bake the blondies for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a think coating of caramel. Cool the bars on a wire rack to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set. Take out of the refrigerator and cut the bars into squares. To help get the bars off the tinfoil, use the sides of the tinfoil to flip the bars over (so the tinfoil faces up), then carefully peel of the tinfoil from the bars. Use your cuts to take apart the squares and place right-side up. Leftovers can be stored at room temperature.