(Yield: 9 blondies)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter (2 cubes), melted and cooled a tad
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce * see below, prepared ahead, kept warm
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts, pecans, or cashews
- fleur de sel
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg, vanilla, salt, and flour mixture. Mix until well combined. Spread half of the mixture in the prepared baking pan and smooth.
Spread salted caramel onto the blondie batter using a tablespoon, leaving a bit of space around the edges. Top with the chopped nuts. Drop the remaining batter in spoonfuls over the caramel and spread with a spatula. Using a knife, swirl the blondie batter with the caramel. If desired, sprinkle with fleur de sel.
Bake 28-32 minutes until set in the middle and golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake. Make sure you cool completely, almost 2 hours, before cutting into squares. If necessary, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to help the caramel set.
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
In a 3-quart saucepan, add the sugar and water and cook at medium heat. Stir until combined. Do NOT stir again. If using a candy thermometer, it should read about 350 degrees. Remove thermometer.
Carefully add the butter and whisk until butter is melted. Remove the pan from heat and slowly pour in the cream, whisking all the time until the cream is incorporated. Whisk in the sea salt and set aside to cool.
Allow to cool about 5 minutes, then store in an airtight container until ready to use. Refrigerate.