Monday, September 26, 2011

.caramel cinnamon blondies.

sometimes i bake for a purpose and sometimes my purpose is to bake. when i ran across this recipe for cinnamon caramel blondies, i had no upcoming event to serve them at or a friend that was due for an edible gift. instead, i had a strong urge to make these blondies a part of my repertoire.

cinnamon is a lifelong friend of mine and sprinkling it with caramel seemed like a delectable combination.

i'd never made a blondie before, but i've done the dance with brownies. blondies take on the concept of the oh-so-popular brownie, but are just void of chocolate.

instead, they're packed with so many ingredients that i adore like brown sugar, vanilla and in this case- cinnamon.

as i mixed the ingredients together, an aroma of deep sugar filled the air in my kitchen and i anxiously awaited to see how the caramel would play with the other ingredients.

while most of the recipe was reasonably typical, i arrived at the part where caramels needed to be melted down. i'd say without a doubt that the most difficult part was unwrapping individual caramels and i even had to call in my eye guy for back up to get all those little guys unwrapped.

once they were in the pot and started melting, i added the heavy whipping cream and it looked beautiful. it took a lot of will power not to stick my finger into the pot and lick it clean.

probably the only thing that really stopped me from doing it was the fact that i would have burned my finger with singing hot caramel. otherwise, totally would have.

with the batter all mixed and the caramel ready to be drizzled upon it, i began layering the delicious components together in a baking dish.

as i swirled the last bit of batter on top of the caramel layer, i couldn't help but imagine how gooey these blondies could turn out to be. i imagined this totally being a giant mess, but hoped they'd be just right.

once the pan came bubbling out of the oven, i waited patiently for the dish to cool before i began cutting into it. even then, i could feel the gooeyness sticking to the knife. as i pulled a bar of blondie out of the pan for a taste test, it was obviously not going to be a very neat thing to eat.

but let me assure you...every gooey, stick to the fingers, messy bite is so worth it. these caramel cinnamon blondies are spectacular. i passed most of them out at work and they got rave reviews, messiness and all. if you're looking for something to spoil yourself with, try these out.

cinnamon caramel blondies
from The Baker Chick
yield: 24 blondies
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 14 oz bag of caramels unwrapped
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Beat together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat, scraping the bowl, until thoroughly combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Give the dough a final stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to make sure the flour is incorporated.
4. Spread half of the dough evenly into the pan (It is going to be a thick batter so you may need greased spatula to help with this).
5. Heat the caramels and cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat until thick and melted.
6. Pour the caramel sauce over the batter.
7. Distribute the remaining batter as evenly as possible over the caramel. (I found I needed to get my hands dirty for this. I grabbed pieces of dough and flattened it out over the caramel. Do the best you can! If there are areas that aren't totally covered it's OK. It makes it look swirly and fancy.)
8. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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