For some reason we have an extraordinary amount of pretzels in our house right now. I think it may have something to do with my brother’s New Year’s rager gathering of well-behaved friends. Regardless of how the bags of pretzels appeared in our pantry, they needed to be used. I decided to make Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies.
I have been meaning to make these for quite some time for a few reasons. One being that I have never made blondies before. Yes, I know, how can I name my blog a title pertaining to being blonde and not think to make blondies. Well, that it because there is no chocolate. It just doesn’t make sense to me to bake what is basically a brownie, but without the chocolate. However, when I found a recipe for blondies that had caramel and pretzels, I knew I had to try it out. What can I say, I am a sucker for the salty sweet combination.
After preparing the batter, folding in the pretzels, and drizzling homemade caramel sauce, the blondies were a success. The gooey caramel and crunchy pretzels provided a delightfully salty and sweet treat, just as expected.
Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies Homemade Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted (1 stick)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups mini pretzels measured loosely and crushed slightly
- 2/3 cup caramel sauce separated (you can use store bought, or homemade--recipe provided at bottom of post)
- Sea salt or Kosher salt for sprinkling optional
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt butter until light brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.*
Transfer the melted butter to a bowl of a stand mixer and add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Whisk vigorously to combine until light in color.
Add the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated, be careful not to over-mix or the blondies will be tough.
With a rubber spatula, fold in the pretzels.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with the spatula.
Drizzle about 1/3 cup caramel sauce over the pan in a zig-zag pattern.
Bake for 28 to 32 minutes, or until center is just set. Watch the actual blondies dough, not the caramel sauce, because it won't fully set. The blondies are done when a toothpick inserted in the center (not in caramel) comes out mostly clean. Don't over bake; they are meant to be gooey and firm up as they cool.
Immediately after removing pan from the oven, drizzle about 1/4 to 1/3 cup caramel sauce over the top in a zig-zag pattern, following the original zig-zag pattern if possible. Sprinkle with sea salt and extra crushed pretzels if desired.
Allow blondies to cool completely in pan, at least one hour. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Melt butter and sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a boil, and stir continuously until mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan and forms a smooth caramel, pulling away from the sides when stirred. Let it bubble and get nice and thick before use.
*The browned butter adds some extra flavor, but if you are nervous about burning the butter, just melt the butter in the microwave for about a minute. It won't brown, but works just as well in the recipe.