Today’s recipe is a blast from the past. It’s for Praline Bars, which are basically blondies but maybe a little chewier and sweeter. They’re far from being cakey and they actually look a bit like praline candy before being baked.
The recipe is originally from Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two, one of the few cookbooks we owned when I was a small child. I used to look at the photos, and when I learned to read this was the first recipe I made.
As a kid I used vegetable oil and had good results, so I made a batch this week with vegetable oil for old times sake. The nice thing about the oil version is the bars are extremely chewy. They taste good with the vegetable oil, but I knew they’d taste better with butter so I made a second batch with melted Plugra, a European style butter. The butter version was even better and I especially liked these topped with a little flaky sea salt.
Betty Crocker Praline Bars
- Butter for greasing pan
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably Plugra (or 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar (200 grams)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup flour (97 grams)
- 2/3 cup coarsely chopped, toasted walnuts or pecans
- Flaky sea salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rub an 8 inch glass baking pan (or metal) with butter.
- Melt 5 tablespoons of butter. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of brown sugar until well blended. Sugar should be shiny from the heat of the butter. If you are using vegetable oil, gently warm the oil and then add the sugar.
- Stir in the room temperature egg and vanilla, then stir in the baking powder and the salt. Add the flour and stir until blended, then stir in the nuts.
- Scrape into pan. If desired, sprinkle sea salt flakes over the top.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until bars appear set.
- Let cool completely and cut into squares or if you prefer, cut while warm.