After seeing some caramel sauce topped Martha Stewart blondies on Pinterest, I decided to try making caramel filled blondies, where instead of being poured over the top, the caramel was sandwiched in between two layers of blondie.
The experiment worked! I’ve only made these once, but I plan to make them again and serve them to a group. They’re fairly rich, and at first I thought they might be too rich, but later in the day (when I was actually hungry) they tasted great.
If you read through the recipe, you’ll also notice that I added kind of a weird step. You can do it another way if you prefer, but since these are made by baking a base layer, spreading caramel over it, then topping with the remaining layer of batter and re-baking, I shaped the remaining batter (top layer) into a square and froze it so that I could pop it right on top of the first layers and not worrying about it becoming too thick to spread. It seemed to work pretty well and I had a nice even top. Plus this particular batter does thicken upon standing so it could be tricky to spread the traditional way. If you try them, let me know! I think this technique would work with just about any blondie recipe, and I might experiment and see which version I like best. This one had a very strong, brown butter and (of course) caramel flavor.
Caramel Filled Blondes
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 4.8 ounces
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans
- 7 ounces about 24 unwrapped caramels
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square pan with nonstick foil.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook just until it starts to brown. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine both of the sugars, egg, and slightly cooled melted butter. Using a handheld mixer, beat on medium-high until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. By hand, stir in the flour mixture until combined. Stir in the pecans. Pour about half of the batter in the prepared pan (just enough to cover bottom) and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
- While bottom layer is baking and cooling, spread remaining batter on a piece of foil and using a rubber scraper or spatula, shape it into an 7 ½ inch square just about big enough to fit in the pan. Put the square of batter on a flat surface in the freezer for about an hour or until it is solid enough for you to peel off the foil. This should take about the same amount of time it took you to bake and cool the first layer.
- Now make the caramel filling. In a microwave-safe glass measuring cup or bowl, combine the caramels and cream. Heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir well. Repeat, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted and smooth. Alternatively, you can do this in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Pour melted caramel mixture over cooled base.
- Remove your square of almost-frozen batter from the freezer, peel away the foil and carefully lay it on top of the caramel. Let sit for an hour or long enough for the frozen top batter to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is fully cooked. Let cool completely, then chill. Lift from pan and cut into squares.
Wow these look so good!
Oh, I need to make these! I want to make the Applebee’s recipe also. If you haven’t had them at the restaurant before then you probably don’t know what you’re missing!
Holiday Baker Man
Wow. These look great! I have been on such a caramel kick and I love blondies. This seems like match made in heaven. I can’t wait to try these. Thanks for sharing!
Apple caramel is near the apples in the produce section around here. I think ours was a brand called caramel lava. It was in a little plastic clamshell like container. And it is ready for dipping sliced apples immediately. You can use it cold or heated to make it runnier. I would totally use it again for baking if “necessary”, though I do usually use the melted caramels and cream method. Now that I’ve tried the caramel for apples, that might just be so much easier that I’ll do it more often. 😉
This looks wonderful! I have a bag of caramel bits in the freezer which is begging to be used. How much should I use? Half a bag or the whole thing? I must make these blondies for the folks at work. If I keep these around the house, in the freezer, or anywhere near me, they will disappear. 😉
Martha, it’s 1/2 cup. Thanks for letting me know. Sometimes things get chopped off when I transfer a recipe to Easy Recipe format.
Darlene, what state did we live in? Also, I need to try the Applebee’s recipe while this one is still fresh in my mind. That’s one blondie recipe I’ve never tried, mainly because I always see it accompanied with sauce and I never put sauce on blondies.
Katrina, I’ve been meaning to buy the apple caramel, but my store hasn’t had it. Do you use the flat, ready-made type or the type you mix with water and boil?
They do look great!
Another caramel I was surprised to have work well (in the brownies I was telling you about) is some of that caramel you can buy for dunking apple slices. My husband bought some and wasn’t using it, so I decided to swirl it in to brownies. It is a perfect consistency after being baked.
Be still my heart – these look so delicious. For some reason they remind me of Applebee’s Walnut Blondie with Maple Butter Sauce. I’m sure they would also taste great served warm with some vanilla ice cream. Anna, I actually had a dream that you moved in next door – wishful thinking I guess!
Martha in KS
These look great & I like the idea of forming the top crust. I’ve had trouble in the past spreading on a top layer. The pecan amount isn’t showing – how much do you use? Thanks!