Sunday, September 27, 2009

Caramel-Glazed Blondies

In order to impress some people I hadn't yet met, I whipped up some blondies for a UGA football viewing party. Everyone loved the yummy treats, and Georgia won the game, so it was a win-win all around. Because I was a little rushed to make it in time to "Call the Dawgs" during kick-off, I may have shaved off some of the cooling and setting times that you'll see below. It turned out just as well as if I would have waited longer - impatience sure paid off.

I've made some suggestions to the recipe below that you won't see reflected in the pictures. While the version I made were quite good, it was missing texture. My suggestions should definitely fix that problem.

Katie, I think it's time that you get to blogging. What are you waiting for? Your sister is showing you up big time, especially with two posts on one day.

Caramel-Glazed Blondies (adapted from "Cookies, Brownies & Bars"):
Makes 25 blondies (mine only made 16, but maybe I cut mine too big?)

for the blondies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 oz. white chocolate chips
6 oz. chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Press aluminum foil into the bottom and over the sides of a 9-by-9-inch baking pan. Butter the foil.

In a saucepan, combine the butter and light brown sugar. Warm over medium heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Don't worry if the sugar doesn't dissolve completely or if the mixture boils - both are a-okay. Scrape into a large bowl and let cool slightly. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Add the vanilla and the eggs to the large bowl and use a large spoon to mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture, chocolate chip and nuts, and stir just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool until room temperature, about 1 hour.

for the caramel glaze:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

In a saucepan, combine the butter, cream and brown sugar. Warm over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool.* Sift the confectioners' sugar into a bowl, then whisk in the cooled brown sugar mixture to make a smooth glaze. Spread the glaze evenly over the cooled blondies, still in the pan. Let stand until set, about 30 minutes.

Holding the ends of the foil, life the blondies out to cut using a warmed knife. These can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I suggest refrigeration, then heating in the microwave right before eating. Adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream would make these utterly fantastic.

*At this point, this mixture will provide for the most heavenly, tempting smell your kitchen has ever witnessed. This intoxicating smell will urge your senses for just a taste, but resist the urge! I can tell you that even after it has cooled, it's still boiling hot. I put my finger in for a taste, then realized it was on fire. My next thought was to extinguish the blaze, and my first reaction was to put my finger in my mouth, which ended up burning my tongue too. It really doesn't pay to sacrifice taste buds, so just wait for the finished product.

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