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Chewy Chocolate Caramel Blondies

Anything but basic, these dense and chewy blondies can be customized to your liking! This version is studded with gooey, chocolatey caramel.

Chewy Chocolate Caramel Blondies ~ a basic blondie batter can be customized with your favorite add-ins | {Five Heart Home}So today was a rough day for blogging. I originally had plans to post a recipe for cinnamon bread, but when I baked it over the weekend, I decided it hadn’t turned out “pretty” enough for a photo shoot. So I gave one loaf away and my family happily began whittling away at the rest, and I resolved to revisit that recipe another day with hopes for a more photogenic swirl of cinnamon.

Plan B was to bake a special twist on apple pie. I’ve actually been baking this particular pie for years and did a test run last week. But again, at the time I decided that the pie needed to be a little bit taller to photograph well. So once more, with no complaints from my family, we chowed down on that apple pie and I had plans to bake it again today, while increasing the apple filling and the super-secret topping for more photogenic results.

Chewy Chocolate Caramel Blondies ~ a basic blondie batter can be customized with your favorite add-ins | {Five Heart Home}Well, for some reason, making those tweaks altered the fundamental chemistry of the recipe, because when I went to cut into my pie, I was shocked to discover apple soup! Has this ever happened to y’all? I need to do some research, but I’m assuming that my extra apples ended up releasing additional moisture, resulting in watery pie (which, incidentally, still tasted great). Again, no argument from my family. They are more than happy to eat my mistakes.

Alas, it was back to the drawing board again for today’s blog post, (which, by this point, almost ended up being tomorrow’s blog post). For this attempt, I went with another classic recipe from my repertoire. I still wanted to jazz it up for y’all, but I kept my fingers crossed in hopes that I wouldn’t end up with another kitchen failure.

Chewy Chocolate Caramel Blondies ~ a basic blondie batter can be customized with your favorite add-ins | {Five Heart Home}Well, the third time was apparently the charm, because these classic blondies, interspersed in this variation with chocolate chips and chewy, gooey chunks of caramel, came out great. Hallelujah and amen.

This blondie recipe is fast, easy, and straightforward to whip up. Its ingredients are simple, but it never disappoints. There is no leavening in this recipe, which means that these bars don’t rise, but therein lies their beauty. You see, they turn out dense, moist, and chewier than your average chocolate chip cookie. And equally exciting…this recipe only dirties one bowl, people! In my mind, that elevates it a notch or five right there.

But what makes this recipe extra fun are all of the variations you can create out of the basic batter. These buttery bars are amazing whether you stud them with a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips, or M&Ms, or peanut butter chips and chopped peanuts, or white chocolate chips with dried cranberries and toasted pecans, or coconut with macadamia nuts, or in today’s case, chopped up caramel-stuffed chocolates. Honestly, the list of possibilities could go on and on.

Chewy Chocolate Caramel Blondies ~ a basic blondie batter can be customized with your favorite add-ins | {Five Heart Home}But the best part of this week’s kitchen debacles? I — er, we — get to alternate eating these chewy, chocolatey blondies with slices of not-so-attractive cinnamon bread and wedges of (still tasty) waterlogged apple pie. I may be worn out after all of the mishaps, but so long as my kids benefit from the imperfect outcomes, I think that they would argue for as many baking blunders as I care to make.

Fortunately for all of us, these blondies definitely do not fall into the blunder category. But commiserate with me a bit here today. What’s your biggest recipe failure? 😉

Chewy Chocolate Caramel Blondies

Chewy Chocolate Caramel Blondies

Anything but basic, these dense and chewy blondies can be customized to your liking! This version is studded with gooey, chocolatey caramel.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted & cooled
  • 1 cup (light or dark) brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/2 package (approx. 5 ounces) caramel-centered chocolates (such as Hershey's, Dove, or Rolos), frozen

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Unwrap frozen caramel chocolate candies and roughly chop.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla until well incorporated. Blend in flour and salt until just blended. Fold in half of the chocolate chips and all of the chopped caramel chocolates.
  3. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until center is set.
  4. Remove pan to a wire rack and cut once cooled.

Notes

I typically double this recipe, bake it in a 9 by 13-inch pan, and start checking for doneness at 25 to 30 minutes (it may take even a bit longer). It seems to me that the center ends up a bit softer when I bake it in a larger pan, which we like. However, if you prefer a firmer center but still want to double the recipe, just divide your batter between two 8 by 8-inch pans instead.

These are very dense, moist blondies that may look a tad underdone when you pull them out of the oven, but they will continue to firm up as they cool. After you bake them the first time, you'll have a better sense of how long to bake them in order to achieve your desired level of doneness.

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http://www.fivehearthome.com/2013/10/30/chewy-chocolate-caramel-blondies/

Adapted from How to Cook Everything, via Smitten Kitchen

 

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Comments

  1. Debbie Caraballo says:

    Gosh, I bet these are delicious – and they look so good and gooey! Love the combo of ingredients you used, and love the idea of changing things up. Thanks!!

    Deb

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Debbie. They are pretty good…in fact, too good! I need to hurry up and find someone to give the leftovers to before I eat them all myself!

      Have a great day!

  2. I love blondies (well, any cookie bar for that matter). These look fabulous! And I totally understand about the bread and pie. I’ve been having the same sort of troubles too, recently!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks for making me feel better, Kathy…so glad I’m not the only one who’s been having an off-week in the kitchen! And I love blondies, too! I hope you enjoy these if you end up trying them. 🙂

      I appreciate you stopping by…hope you’re having a great day!

  3. These sound so good. Thank you.

  4. YUMMY! These look so good! I’m kind of glad you had all of the other baking debacles so I could snag this recipe. 😉 I can’t wait to check out the other ones too, though! Thanks so much for sharing, Samantha! Happy Halloween!

    ~Abby =)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Abby! This is one of my go-to recipes when I need a quick, easy baked good. And with all of this leftover Halloween candy, I can see lots of new variations in our near future… 😉 Hope you had a fun Halloween with your boys!

  5. These look amazing! Found you at Best of the Weekend. Pinning this recipe!

  6. I wish I had the ingredients for this recipe in the kitchen because it looks so great and I want some! Yum!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Kathleen! You should definitely make these the next time you have the ingredients rounded up. P.S. Chopped up leftover Halloween candy works great in them, too! 😉

  7. These pictures make me so hungry! I should probably make these when my husband isn’t home or he might eat the whole pan in one sitting!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Chelsea! My husband is quite fond of these as well. Unfortunately, I’m the one that has a hard time not eating the whole pan at once! 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. Samantha, this looks so good, my mouth is watering! 🙂
    Don’t worry though everyone has those days! I made something the other day too that just didn’t turn out pretty enough for me!

  9. I hate when things don’t turn out pretty enough for the blog 🙁 But at least your third time was a charm – these blondies look perfect! So delicious, I want a bite right now!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Cate! It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one who’s particular about my blog-worthy photos… 😉 I appreciate you stopping by…hope your weekend is going well!

  10. JaneEllen says:

    These look so blasted good and yummmmmyyy. Can hardly wait to make them. I’ll have to try some of your suggestions. Happy weekend

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I have to say, they are pretty tasty, JaneEllen! 😉 I hope you enjoy them when you make them. And I think they’d be yummy with just about anything you want to stuff them with!

      Thanks for the comment…hope you’re having a great weekend!

  11. Too funny! Sounds like you had quite the bloggy day! I have definitely had one of those days. Its all of about the photograph, I am just too lazy to make it again so that the picture is “pretty”. The funny thing is that sometimes those are the posts that go crazy on pinterest. Like my Mustard Balsamic Chicken.

    These look awesome as always, and a chewy blondie is the way to go. Pinned this on two of my boards, thanks girl!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Krista! Usually I just make due, but if a recipe turns out particularly unattractive, I don’t even bother wasting my time taking pictures. I just do a do-over another day! 😉

      Thanks so much for the pins! Hope you enjoyed an extra hour of sleep this morning (though with a little one in the house, you probably didn’t!).

  12. Ah, I had a similar bloggy week last week with a pie, a cupcake that just refused to rise and a cookie that was just too brown to look pretty. For your apple pie, did you increase the flour, tapioca or cornstarch ratio when you increased the amounts of apples? That could have helped suck up some of the moisture. I am glad though that this creation came from you kitchen. Looks so delicious. I have all the ingredients except chocolate chips right now but I am gladly going to use some peanut butter chips instead!!! Pinning this for sure.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks for the commiseration, Zainab! Glad to hear I’m not the only one with baked good that occasionally refuse to cooperate or look good. 😉 And I also appreciate the apple pie failure brainstorming. I did increase the thickener but I’m sure it would help to add even a little more! I’ll keep experimenting.

      Thanks so much for the pin! I haven’t tried these blondies with peanut butter chips yet but I have no doubt they would be delicious!

  13. This recipe sounds fantastic! I found your recipe at the Inspiration Monday party. 😉 I’ve definitely pinned this one. 🙂

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Megan, and I really appreciate the pin! I hope you enjoy this one. 🙂

  14. Chocolate, caramel and blondies – this sounds like the perfect dessert! Can’t wait to give it a try 🙂 I’d be thrilled if you’d come on over to Pink Recipe Box and link up at Creative Wednesdays: http://pinkrecipebox.com/creative-wednesdays-with-pink-recipe-box-16

  15. These look delicious! I’ll definitely have to try the recipe. And you can never have too many sweets, even if they aren’t pretty enough to photograph;)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Ginnie! Unfortunately, my sweet tooth agrees with you and was not complaining when we found ourselves drowning in desserts last week! However, I will say that the blondies are long gone by today… 😉

  16. They look absolutely wonderful!

  17. I love, love blondies, and I think caramel would only make them even more delicious!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Aida! These blondies are good no matter what you put in them, but I have to say that caramel has been one of my favorite versions! 🙂

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