Butterscotch Blondie Bars with Peanut-Pretzel Caramel

blondiecaramel2These bars are delightful and very rich. The recipe is from page 89 of the December 2011 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.






Butterscotch Blondie Bars with Peanut-Pretzel Caramel


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted  butter
2 cups (packed) light brown  sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla  extract

Peanut Pretzel Caramel

4 cups roasted unsalted  peanuts
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted  butter
1/2 cup heavy  cream
1 1/2 cups 1 1/2″-wide thin  twisted pretzels, coarsely crushed


Preheat oven to 350°.  Line baking pane with parchment paper,  leaving a 1″ overhang on long sides of pan.  Whisk flour, baking powder, and  salt in a medium bowl; set aside.  Stir butter in a medium skillet over medium  heat until browned bits form at bottom of pan 7–8 minutes.  Transfer to a medium  bowl.  Add brown sugar.  Using an electric mixer, beat until well combined and  mixture resembles wet sand, 2–3 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat  until  fluffy and well combined, about 2 minutes.  Add dry ingredients; beat until  smooth (batter will be thick).  Using an offset or regular spatula, evenly  spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake blondie until golden brown, edges pull away from sides of  pan, and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs  attached, 20–25 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan on a wire  rack.

Peanut Pretzel Caramel

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with  parchment paper.  Spread peanuts over sheet in an even layer.  Bake, stirring  frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, 5–7 minutes.  Set  aside.

Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in a large saucepan over  medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat; boil without stirring,  occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until  caramel is deep amber, 12–15 minutes.  Add honey; return to a boil, stirring  often, about 1 minute longer.  Add butter; stir until blended.  Add cream  (mixture will bubble vigorously); whisk until smooth.  Stir in peanuts and  pretzels.  Pour over cooled blondie.  Chill until cool, about 30  minutes.

Run a knife around short sides of pan to release blondie.   Using parchment-paper overhang, lift from pan.  Cut lengthwise into 4 strips.   Cut each strip crosswise into 10 bars.  DO AHEAD: Chill for up to 1  week in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before  serving.

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