brown butter caramel bars

I love caramel more than I love chocolate. There, I said it! I prefer the salty sweetness of the perfect caramel to chocolate any day of the week. Probably because most good caramel is butter based, and it always comes back to butter around here.

The concept of a bar that tastes like caramel with the texture of a brownie is genius. Chewy, butter caramel goodness? Heck yes! Unfortunately, most so-called 'blondies' taste like a chocolate chip cookie without chocolate chips. A few years ago, I decided to create the perfect blondie- chewy, creamy, buttery, and oh-so-caramelly. It took a few tries to come up with the right recipe, but now they are perfect. 

When I had my small bakery business, these were far and away the bestseller. My sister, pregnant with her first baby, called and begged me to make them and ship them to her. You'll love them too. 

There are a few keys to success with this very simple recipe. 

1. Let the bars cool all the way before turning out of the pan. I mean, all the way. Cold to the touch. No heat whatsoever.

2. Use a spatula, not a whisk, for most of the process. You don't want to incorporate air into the batter, as this will change the consistency.

3. Don't over bake them! 

Here's how it's done:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Brown the butter and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together the eggs and vanilla.

Measure the sugars out into a large bowl. While the butter is still warm (not hot) pour into the sugar and combine well with a spatula. 

Once the sugar/butter mix is incorporated, add the egg mixture. You should still use a spatula- small lumps are okay, but try to incorporate everything as smoothly as you can.

Now stir in the flour mixture.

This takes some bicep power. I believe in you.

This takes some bicep power. I believe in you.

You want the flour to be completely incorporated. Keep stirring carefully- remember, your goal is not to add any air to the dough. The batter will be very thick. Spread it in a 13x9 pan and bake for 35 minutes. KEY: DO NOT TURN THEM OUT OF THE PAN UNTIL THEY ARE COMPLETELY COOL. I do not grease my pan- just turn them out over a cutting board and give the bottom of the pan a good whack and they should pop right out.

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