Saturday, December 24, 2011

brown butter blondies with cashew pretzel caramel

check one. check one. check IT out.

this is something you both want and need.
it's still not christmas yet. i'm allowed to shove another cookie in your faces.

it's sweet and salty. i know you're into it. pretzels and caramel, people.
pretzels and caramel.
that's your affirmation for the day. say it into the mirror to yourself after you've washed your face.

wait. WAY-T. how am i leaving browned butter out of this?

brown butter is the secret ninja in this recipe. people will get a little distracted by all the pretzel cashew caramel business on top...

until they take a bite. and feel the brown butter sending shock waves of joy through their bodies.

brown butter ninja. it's sneaky. it doesn't look like much. but anything you add it too will instantly be astonishingly good. it will karate chop you in the throat.

(with nutty caramelized flavor)

pretzels and caramel. cashews. brown butter ninja., how could this be bad, sir?

it just can't.

Brown Butter Blondies with Cashew Peanut Caramel
adapted from bon appetit december 2011

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 light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract

cashew pretzel caramel:
2 cups unsalted cashews, roasted
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream 
2 cups thin twisted pretzels, coarsely crushed

preheat oven to 350. line 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1 inch overhand on long sides of the pan. whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. stir butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until browned buts form at bottom of the pan, 7-8 minutes. transfer to a medium bowl or bowl of an electric mixer. add brown sugar. using 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 e thick). using a spatula, evenly spread batter in the prepared pan. 
bake until golden brown, edges pull away from sides of pan, and a tester inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 20-25 minutes. let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. 

cashew pretzel caramel: first roast the cashews..preheat oven to 350. line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and spread cashews over in an even layer. bake, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, about 7 minutes. set aside. 

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, about 12-15 minutes. add 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 caramel and pretzels. pour over cooled blondie. chill until cool, about 30 minutes. 
run a knife around sides of pan to release blondie. using parchment overhand, lift from pan. cut lengthwise into strips and then into bars.
 can be chilled for up to 1 week in an airtight container. bring to room temperature before serving. 


  1. Oh my those look great. Will have to put on my to make list. Happy New Year. (Found you from Tastespotting and your bacon jam.)

  2. That is the best looking blondie I have ever seen! The first blondie I have ever wanted to bake. Madam, I salute you.