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Monday, February 27, 2012

Butterscotch Blondie Bars with Peanut-Pretzel Caramel

 It was time for something sweet-salty and gooey.  I figured Bon Appétit had my number with this one.  But I was actually surprised that the final product was not quite the salty that I expected.  It's because they used unsalted nuts.  Don't know why, because salted would have been perfect (I noted it in my version below.)  Also they used honey in the caramel instead of the typical corn syrup.  In addition to being sweet, honey has kind of an extra-sweet flavor to it.  But I think salted nuts would balance it better. 

I feel like altering a Bon Appétit recipe tags me as "NOT SOPHISTICATED ENOUGH", but we all kind of knew that, didn't we?  I can't be what I'm not. But I can love my new camera.  And Butterscotch Blondies with Salted Peanut-Pretzel Caramel.

Butterscotch Blondie Bars with Peanut-Pretzel Caramel (print recipe)
 Makes 40

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Peanut-Pretzel Caramel:
4 cups roasted lightly salted (or unsalted) peanuts
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup honey or light corn syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups 1 1/2"-wide thin twisted pretzels, coarsely crushed

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line 13x9x2" metal baking pan with parchment paper, leaving 1" overhang on long sides of pan.  Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.  Stir butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until browned bits form at bottom of pan, 7-8 minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Add brown sugar.  Using an electric mixer, beat until well combined and mixture resembles wet sand, 2-3 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy and well combined, about 2 minutes.  Add dry ingredients; beat until smooth (batter will be thick.)  Using an offset spatula, evenly spread batter in prepared pan.

2.  Bake blondie until golden brown, edges pull away from sides of pan, and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 20-25 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

3.  For the Peanut-Pretzel Caramel, preheat oven to 350.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread peanuts over sheet in an even layer.  Bake, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, 5-7 minutes.  Set aside. 

4.  Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat; boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until caramel is deep amber, 12-15 minutes.  Add corn syrup or honey; return to a boil, stirring often, about 1 minute longer.  Add butter; stir until blended.  Add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously); whisk until smooth.  Stir in peanuts and pretzels.  Pour over cooled blondie.  Chill until cool, about 30 minutes. 

5.  Run a knife around short sides of pan to release blondie.  Using parchment-paper overhang, lift from pan.  Cut lengthwise into 4 strips.  Cut each strip crosswise into 10 bars. 

Recipe from Bon Appétit, December 2011

1 comment:

Leslie said...

sweet and salty is my fav!!!

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