forty one: salted caramel pretzel blondies

I sort of went into a baking frenzy last week, when I embraced my unemployed status. That too explains why the oven was pretty active; I think I used it almost every other day……. until I realised how buying for baking ingredients strains the wallet after a while. Darn it, we can’t have the best of both worlds, huh?

Anyway, I first tried this recipe in December. It started when I daydreamed in the office (whoops), thinking of ways to use up my jar of homemade salted caramel at home. I then had this random idea of combining sweet and savoury flavours together in a dessert, you know, to cut the perceived sweetness. The idea of salted caramel and pretzels just sort of came about while I browsed Tastespotting.

So, after buying a bag of overpriced pretzels, I used a random recipe off the net to make the blondies. The first batch turned out dry and blah, so I decided to use another recipe from one of may favourite baking blogs, smitten kitchen.

That batch cured my heartbreak (hur hur), and the second and consequent batches brought plenty of smiles. To sum up, hell yes, this recipe’s a keeper!

THE BATCH THAT MADE MY HEART SING FOR JOY. #KIDDING

THE BATCH THAT MADE MY HEART SING FOR JOY. #KIDDING #MAYBE

In the recent batch (pictured below), I reduced the amount of brown sugar, added a handful of crushed pretzels to the batter, and drizzled more salted caramel sauce. And sprinkled some sea salt, just in case.

It takes more prep time to prepare this (you need to make the salted caramel from scratch, so that’ll take about 30 minutes or so), but as always, you won’t regret it.

scpb2Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies (Blondies recipe adapted from smitten kitchen, who said that blondies are “infinitely adaptable”. Damn right, she is.)
Makes about 15-17 squares

Ingredients

  • 113g butter, melted
  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used essence)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1/2 cup pretzels (set aside 4-5 pretzels for the batter, and use the rest to decorate the blondies)
  • about 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce (I didn’t measure the amount I used; I scooped a couple of spoonfuls)
  • optional: sea salt
scpb1

SOFT AND FUDGY AND CHEWY AND SALTY AND SWEET AND CRUNCHY

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat, and leave it to cool slightly before mixing in the brown sugar. Beat until smooth. (Lazy girl tip #1: Just use the same saucepan – less things to wash later!)
  3. Beat in egg, then add in the vanilla.
  4. Add in the flour and salt, and mix well.
  5. Add the crushed pretzels (Lazy girl tip #2: Crush ’em pretzels with your hands. You need not break them into small, delicate pieces.) to the batter, and mix till well combined.
  6. Pour the batter into a lined and slightly buttered baking pan. Arrange your remaining pretzels nicely on the baking pan. (Lazy girl tip #3: By placing them neatly, it’ll be easier to cut them into even squares later.)
  7. Drizzle the salted caramel, and sprinkle sea salt to finish.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. The blondies may appear soft and unbaked in the middle at this point, but LEAVE IT. The blondies will harden slightly as it cools in the baking pan. Nobody wants dry blondies for dessert, trust me.
  9. Lazy girl tip #4: Slice the blondies directly on the baking pan, before transferring the pieces to cool on a rack. Or, you can just pop ’em in your mouth as you go.
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2 thoughts on “forty one: salted caramel pretzel blondies

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