I generally provide dessert for a weekly get-together with friends, and often find myself making different types of brownies and cookies. They're easy to make a day or two ahead of time, and travel easily when you're also juggling a preschooler, samples of the latest batch of home-brewed beer, and other assorted items that are being loaned out or returned, all on a two or three block walk. And out of all the varieties I've made (and there have been a lot over the last two years), these blondies were by far one of the group's favorites.
When I first read the ingredient list for these, I was a little surprised by the extra half stick of butter, and thought about just using two since I was running low. But I went with it, and wow did it make these bars good. Chewy and almost fudgy, with a ton of caramelly flavor, it was totally worth wiping out my supply of butter. I also followed Jen's suggestion to cut back on the spices to shift these away from the original holiday-oriented gingerbread version of these bars, keeping just some of the cinnamon. Eventually, I'd like to try a version with some orange zest, but for now, I'm not going to mess with what's become one of my favorite standbys.
White Chocolate Caramel Blondies
adapted (just slightly) from Martha Stewart via Beantown Baker
What's in them:
2 3/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 sticks (20 Tbsp or 1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
11 ounces white chocolate chips
How to make them:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and yolk, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla and molasses.
Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in white chocolate chips.
Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake until edges are golden, 30-35 minutes (the middle might not be set). Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. When completely cooled, cut into 24 bars (they're so rich that you really can get 24 from a 9x13" pan).