There are many things in life that I crave on a weekly basis, and ice cream (along with Doritos, and cinnamon toast, and stinky cheese) is one of those. However, ice cream, at least for me, is a seasonal craving. It’s a “summer and I’m hot, and I want something cold” type of craving. One that usually doesn’t strike me, say, in mid-December. But I do have an everyday craving; a “dream-about-it, must-have-it, it’s-so-indulgent-I’m-embarrassed-to-even-admit-it” type of craving. What is it, you ask? Wait for it…it’s bananas dipped in peanut butter, then rolled in chocolate chips. I know, right?! Go ahead, take a minute to judge me, I don’t mind… Okay, are we ready to move on? Good. So this weekend when I was trying to figure out how to reward myself for going to the gym for 5 days straight, I started having visions of all of my favorite foods floating past me, mixing into one glorious frozen treat. And then it hit me! What if I threw everything I love into my brand-spanking new ice cream maker and created the world’s best ice cream? Brilliant! Continue reading
I’m just gonna put something out there right off the bat: these blondes are sinful, just sinful. They’re the kind of dessert that you can’t stay away from once you try. The kind that you think, How did I go my whole life without these delicious treats and how can I eat the rest of the pan without anyone noticing? – that’s how good they are. So go ahead, make a pan and then tell me if I’m crazy for loving them. You’ll see.
Salted Caramel & Chocolate Blondies
- ¾ butter, melted
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1½ tsp. vanilla
- 2½ cups flour
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips, melted*
- ½ cup caramel sauce, heated slightly to thin
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (such as Maldon)
- 1 bamboo skewer
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch, high-sided** baking pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour to butter mixture in two incorporations, beating between each addition until smooth. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Melt chocolate and heat caramel.
Also using a spoon or small spatula, drizzle chocolate in a thin straight line running the length of the pan, alternating with the caramel.
Wipe the skewer clean with a paper towel and repeat in the other direction, running from right to left, about ½-inch down from the first line.
Continue to drag lines across the top of the batter, alternating direction with each line until you run out of room. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is set. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack and immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Finally, try not to eat the entire pan in one sitting.
*Note on melting chocolate: I like to melt my butter in a coffee cup in the microwave. After I’ve emptied the butter out of the cup, I add the ½ cup of chocolate chips and microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then finish it with another 30 second blast. The little bit of butter on the inside of the cup helps the chocolate from getting dry and crumbly under the high heat. For the caramel I used jarred caramel sauce, then heated it in a coffee cup for 30 seconds.
**Note on the pan: I developed this recipe in my head about a month ago, jotted it down, then tested the recipe one rainy afternoon and it was a major bust! It tasted great, but I idiotically chose to put it in a square baking dish, which was way too small, resulting in cooked edges with a pool of molten lava batter in the center. Undeterred, I tried it again with a 13×9-inch cookie sheet, but the sides were way too short, resulting in a hot mess on the bottom of my oven…
So when I say a high-sided baking pan, I mean a HIGH-SIDED baking pan. Live and learn, I guess!