The combination of salty and sweet is one of my absolute favorite flavors in the world. I think sea salt dusted on dark chocolate or caramel is absolutely divine.
One day while shopping at Costco, I saw these dark chocolate sea salt caramels. How am I not going to buy those? Seriously.
They are every bit as delicious as they look.
In fact... For weeks after buying these, I kept them hidden. That's right. I admit it. I didn't want to share. I didn't feel the rest of my family would appreciate them to the level they deserved. (Actually, that's not true at all. I thought they would appreciate them a bit too much and they would be gone in a day.) Anyway, I hid them.
Every now and then I would pull out a piece and eat it slowly... savoring the soft caramel and how the chunks of sea salt melt into the sweetness of the chocolate and intensify the flavor. Mmmmmm....
One afternoon, I had the urge to bake something soft and gooey, tasting of butterscotch and caramel. It needed to be quick and easy, I didn't have a lot of time, and so I thought of blondies.
Blondies are not something I make very often, because they are basically brownies without the chocolate.
And usually, if given the choice between with chocolate and without chocolate, I choose with chocolate. Duh. Also, sometimes blondies can be overly greasy and kind of bland. I wanted something with the texture of a brownie, but featuring the intense flavors of brown sugar, vanilla, and... salted caramel.
Out came my hidden stash of salted caramel chocolates.
I mixed up a batter with a generous amount of butter, dark brown sugar and vanilla. And then I topped the batter with chunks of salted chocolate caramels.
The result is the perfect combination of textures. They are both crunchy and chewy. Tender and dense. Sweet and salty.
And, yes. There is chocolate in them and I'm still calling them blondies. But, the chocolate in these is more of an accent flavor. The real stars of this show are butterscotch and salted caramel.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup salted butter, melted
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs + 1 yolk
- 3 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 10 oz. salted caramel chocolates chopped into good size chunks (about 1 ¾ cup)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 9 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray or brush with a bit of melted butter.
- In a medium size bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt with a wire whisk until well combined.
- In a separate medium size bowl, whisk the brown sugar with the melted butter until well combined, about 30 seconds. (You can also use a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, but don't over mix. It's important to avoid beating too much air into the mixture.)
- Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter and brown sugar and whisk for about another 30 seconds.
- With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the flour mixture into the butter and brown sugar mixture and stir just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Scatter the chopped salted chocolate caramels over the top of the batter and press them into the batter slightly. The caramels should cover the batter almost completely.
- Bake for 60- 65 minutes, until the center is just barely set and the sides are just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Be careful to not over bake. The center will look slightly underdone, but not jiggly.
- Let the pan cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Using the sides of the foil, lift the whole cake from the pan and let stand on the wire rack, still in the foil, until completely cool.
- Cut into bars and store in an air tight container.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 268Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 271mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 0gSugar: 24gProtein: 3g
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