Tuesday, December 20, 2011
There are two camps of people: vanilla people and chocolate people. I am most definitely a vanilla person. I prefer white chocolate over dark, angel food over devil's food cake, vanilla bean ice cream over double fudge and of course BLONDIES over brownies.
I made these blondies for an office cookie exchange. I can't say enough how wonderful cookie exchanges are. You get a whole array of cookies for the effort of making only one. Plus, you get to sample your friends' favorites and find new favorites of your own. Thanks to all the ladies I exchanged cookies with this year!
This recipe came from the December 2011 issue of Bon Appétit. It has a nice salty-sweet flavor from the pretzels contrasted against the homemade caramel. The blondie beneath the topping is chewy and filled with brown sugary goodness. I doubled the recipe and baked it in a jelly roll pan below to make 72 - 1" x 2" bars.
Butterscotch Blondies with Peanut Pretzel Caramel
9 x 13 pan | Bon Appétit, Dec/11
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teapsoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups roasted unsalted peanuts
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups thin twisted pretzels, coarsely crushed
1. Blondie: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1" overhang on long sides of pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Stir butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until browned bits form at bottom of pan, 7–8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add brown sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until well combined and mixture resembles wet sand, 2–3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy and well combined, about 2 minutes. Add dry ingredients; beat until smooth (batter will be thick). Using an offset or regular spatula, evenly spread batter in prepared pan.
2. Bake blondie until golden brown, edges pull away from sides of pan, and a tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 20–25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
3. Peanut-pretzel caramel: Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until caramel is deep amber, 12–15 minutes. Add honey; return to a boil, stirring often, about 1 minute longer. Add butter; stir until blended. Add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously); whisk until smooth. Stir in peanuts and pretzels. Pour over cooled blondie. Chill until cool, about 30 minutes.
DO AHEAD: Chill for up to 1 week in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before serving.