Caramel Peanut Blondies
I was really trying to think of something to write. But every thought became interrupted with “Mom, can I have some water?”, “Mommy! Gabriels climbing on me!”, “Mama! Mama! <insert gibberish here>”. And as much as I love Cinderella and iCarly and the Backyardigans…they don’t make for great background thinking sound. You know, stir in peanuts…”Oh, you must be my Fairy Godmother!”…divide batter in half…just doesn’t flow all that well. The good news is that these blondies speak for themselves 🙂
Have you ever bit into a dessert and thought this is definitely not sweet enough. Then this is the dessert for you. It was one of those crazy, over-tired, sweet tooth driven, 11 PM ideas that I instantly became addicted too. I originally tried it with home made salted caramel but the caramel hardened in the oven and I definitely wanted the bar to have caramel baked in rather than just topping it. It’s heavy on the caramel filling so try and use something good quality with some real flavor backing up the sweetness.
Caramel Peanut Blondies
Adapted from The ABSP Baking Book
Yields 9 bars (I recommend eating these with 8 other people or you will eat them all)
1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup shelled peanuts, whole or roughly chopped
14 ounces of caramels, or 50-60 caramel candies, unwrapped (a good job for the closest child you can find)
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a 9×9 inch baking pan with foil and spray (or rub) the pan the vegetable oil. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition and beating for about 10 seconds to ensure fully combined. Turn the mixer to low speed and beat in the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure batter is fully combined. Fold in peanuts.
3. Spread half of the batter into the pan and bake for 15 minutes. The batter is going to sink a bit in the middle and the edges will be a darker brown. While the batter is baking, place the caramels and evaporated milk in a medium size, heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir the caramels and milk until the caramel is fully melted and the mixture is smooth. When the blondies are done, pour the caramel sauce over them and let set for 5-10 minutes (keep the oven on). Spoon the remaining batter over the top of the caramel and smooth together with the back of the spoon. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 15-18 minutes or until the blondies are golden brown and the edges are a darker brown. You can’t test these with a toothpick because the batter stays moist. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before cutting, these are best served within the first 24 hours.