April 13, 2013

Caramel Pretzel Blondies

When I started this blog, I decided I wouldn't share some of my secret recipes. Sorry, but don't expect chocolate chip cookies or brownies or red velvet cake any time soon. I know a lot of you probably want those recipes, but they're secret. My blondies were on that list; everybody has asked for the recipe and I always said no. That is, until I tried something new that was just so good that I had to share. Imagine blondies without nuts or chocolate chips but with ribbons of caramel and pretzels instead. All that is topped with even more pretzels, caramel, and mini chocolate chips.

Yes, I know. It sounds strange. Pretzels in blondies? Really? Just try it. The combination of sweet, salty, and bitter as well as the contrast between cakey blondie, crunchy pretzel, and gooey chocolate and caramel is fantastic. Don't use milk chocolate in this recipe because the bitterness of semisweet chocolate pairs so well with the sweetness of the blondie and caramel and the saltiness of the pretzels. You can use whatever shaped pretzel you want as long as you chop them into fairly large chunks for the batter and whatever you think looks best for decoration on top.

Some of you (those who have never heard of blondies) are probably lost by now. I apologize both for not explaining earlier and for the fact that you've missed out on such a delicious food. Blondies are basically chocolate chip cookies with the shape and texture of brownies. I usually add chocolate chips and sometimes nuts, but I omitted them for this variation. Instead, I fold in chunks of pretzels and a swirl of caramel. I later top the whole thing with mini chocolate chips, pretzels, and more caramel. Whether this is your first blondie or your thousandth, you have got to try this delicious twist!

2 3/4 Cups + 1 T Flour
2 3/4 Cups Dark Brown Sugar
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
4 Eggs
3/4 Cup Oil
2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/4 Cups Pretzels, Plus more for Decoration
1/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
3/4 Cup Cream
3 T Butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9x13" glass baking dish with parchment paper and grease.

Combine 3/4 cup brown sugar, cream, and butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until thick. Cool.

Roughly chop the pretzels and toss in 1T flour.

Sift together remaining flour, remaining brown sugar, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. 

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Fold in the chopped pretzels.

Spread half the batter into prepared pan and smooth with a greased offset spatula. Drizzle with a third of the caramel. Spread the remaining batter on top and swirl in another third of caramel. Bake 40 minutes or until cooked through and deep golden brown.

When cool, top with more pretzels and the remaining caramel and mini chocolate chips.

Makes 18
Recipe Adapted from Publix

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