Today begins 5 Days of Sweets here at made by mike. I had a lot of fun doing this last year, and hope you’ll enjoy what I have to feature this year. To kick off the series, may I introduce you to the Butterscotch Blondie Bar? They were featured in the December 2011 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I made the recipe as instructed, but I wasn’t happy with bottom blondie layer. It tasted great, but the sides rose higher than the middle, and got a little too crunchy. Instead, for the recipe featured here, I went back to the classic blondie recipe that I’ve used reliably in the past. This time, though, I incorporated the browned butter aspect from the original magazine recipe. The combination of recipes worked very well.
So here’s what you get with the final product, a rich dense blondie foundation with a topping of peanuts and pretzels coated in homemade chewy caramel deliciousness.
Butterscotch Blondie Bars – inspired by Bon Appetit, December 2011.
For the blondie layer:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the peanut-pretzel topping:
- 4 cups roasted unsalted peanuts
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups thin twisted pretzels, coarsely crushed
To make the blondie: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9x2″ metal baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1″ overhang on the long sides of the pan. Stir 1 cup butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until browned bits form at the bottom of the pan, 7-8 minutes.
Transfer melted butter to a mixing bowl. Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Add eggs to mixture one at a time, then add vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined. Set mixer to low and add flour, beating until just combined.
Spread mixture evenly in baking pan, bake 20-25 minutes, until center is set. Do not over bake. Let cool in pan on a rack.
To make the peanut-pretzel topping: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread peanuts in an even layer in pan. Bake, stirring frequently ], until golden brown, 5-7 minutes, set aside.
Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down the sides with a wet pastry brush, until caramel is deep amber in color, 12 – 15 minutes. Add honey; return to boil, stirring often, 1 minute longer. Add butter; stir until blended. Add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously, stand back); whisk until smooth. Stir in peanuts and pretzels. Pour over cooled blondie. Chill in refrigerator until cool, 30 minutes.
Coming tomorrow, for day 2 of 5 Days of Sweets, Pumpkin Spice Latte´ Cupcakes. These little cakes have been a huge hit.