These Vintage Salted Caramel Blondies are a classic, no-frills Midwestern bar at their best. They are the perfect marriage of Amy Thielen’s Toffee Bars and Shauna Sever’s Caramel Canvas Blondies from Midwest Made all rolled into one. I have been keeping this blondie recipe on the down-low because, quite honestly, they are blondies that never fail to impress. They make me look like a baking rockstar. The best part? They are so stinking simple to make, it almost makes me embarrassed.
These Salted Caramel Blondies have that addictive sweet, salty, and caramel quality thanks to brown sugar, the gloriously flavorful brown butter, and a healthy dose of salt. They have crisp edges with a softer, dense center that is reminiscent of your favorite cookie bar. The drizzle of dark chocolate on top makes them especially indulgent. Though I have to say, they are perfect without any embellishment.
Possible Substitutions for these Salted Caramel Blondies
CHOCOLATE CHIPS. I have to confess; I usually use chopped chocolate since they do not contain emulsifiers but only had chocolate chips on hand. Either will work, although chopped chocolate melts easier. I used dark chocolate, and milk chocolate also works if you want a sweeter taste.
Before you Start: Tips for How to Make Brown Butter
The first time I attempted to make brown butter for Smitten Kitchen’s Salted Brown Butter Krispie Treats it took me over an hour to get a light golden-brown color. I did this horribly wrong as it should only take 7 minutes to make. To help prevent you from repeating the same mistakes I did, here are a few tips to help you succeed.
- Use a large, wide pan with a light bottom. This is not the place for a pan with the black bottom; you want to see the brown bits falling to the bottom and how dark your butter actually is. If you use a smaller saucepan, the butter will take longer to brown, and it is harder to tell the color of the butter as well.
- Keep the heat at medium heat the entire time while making the browned butter. At this heat, the butter starts to sizzle, and that is exactly what we want.
- Listen for when the butter stops sizzling; this means that the water has cooked out of the butter, and only the butterfat and milk solids remain. The silence is a clear sign you are on your way to perfectly browned butter.
- The butter has maximum caramel flavor when it looks dark brown but not burnt. There are many dark brown specs at the bottom of the pan when you reach maximum flavor capacity. Every time I make brown butter, I question whether I pushed it too far and burnt it; if you think this too, that is perfect! At this point, the butter smells nutty and sweet.
More Sweet Recipes to TryPrint
Vintage Salted Caramel Blondies
These Vintage Salted Caramel Blondies are the Classic Midwestern Bar at its best!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 16 bars 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Midwestern
- 11 tablespoons (154g) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
- 1 1/2 cups (192g) unbleached, all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated preferred
- 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, plus more for topping*
- 1 cup (225g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, fridge-cold
- 1/2 cup (85g) dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, optional
Make the bars:
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Butter an 8×8 inch baking pan (preferably light-colored to avoid over-browning) and line with parchment paper.
- Make the brown butter. Heat a 10-12-inch skillet over medium heat, and add the butter. Cook, stirring continuously, until the butter foams, stops sizzling, and turns a dark amber brown, about 7 minutes. Pour the butter, including the brown bits at the bottom of the pan, into a clean bowl or glass measuring cup and set aside until it is cool enough to touch.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, add the eggs and brown sugar. With a vigorous arm, whisk the eggs and brown sugar together until it lightens and thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the cooled butter to the wet mixture and whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula until no flour lumps remain.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it into an even layer, smoothing the top. Bake until the surface wrinkles, the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, and the edges are golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely on a baking rack before topping with melted chocolate.
Make the melted chocolate:
- Place half the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a double boiler (a glass or heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water). Melt the chocolate until it is smooth and fluid. Remove the bowl from the pan and add the second half of the chocolate, stirring again until smooth.
Top the bars with chocolate:
- Use a whisk to splatter the melted chocolate over the cooled bars. Sprinkle with additional sea salt.
- Use the parchment paper to lift the blondie slab out of the pan and transfer it to a cutting board. Cut into 2×2″ squares or your desired size.
SALT. If you are skipping the chocolate drizzle, add an additional 1/2 teaspoon salt to the dry ingredients.
STORAGE. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
DOUBLING IT? Use a 9×13″ baking pan, use 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk, and increase the baking time to 40 minutes.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 173g
- Sugar: 15.4g
- Sodium: 139mg
- Fat: 8.5g
- Saturated Fat: 5.2g
- Carbohydrates: 23.5g
- Fiber: 0.4g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 44mg
Keywords: blondies, best blondies recipe, sweet and salty