Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Salted Caramel Blondies — The combination of browned butter, salted caramel, chocolate, and sea salt is INCREDIBLE!! A complex-tasting salty-sweet dessert that is EASY to make and a guaranteed FAVORITE!!
Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Blondies
These salted caramel blondies are soft, tender, slightly chewy, the caramel oozes with every bite, there is an abundance of rich dark chocolate, and the perfect amount of sea salt that I want to lick off before I bite into my blondie. Sort of like licking the rim of a salted margarita before taking a sip.
The nuttiness of the browned butter is so comforting and rich-tasting. If you’ve never browned butter, it’s super easy. I outlined it in the recipe below and it only takes about five minutes, but it’s a step that elevates your baked goods to truly the next level.
The browned butter can stand up to other powerful flavors like salted caramel sauce and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, complements and accentuates the salted caramel as well.
This is the rare dessert (after blogging since 2009 and I’ve made thousands) that I hid for myself in the freezer and was sad when they were gone.
What’s in Salted Caramel Blondies?
To make these caramel chocolate chip blondies, all you’ll need is:
- Unsalted butter
- Dark brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- Chocolate chunks
- Salted caramel sauce
- Sea salt flakes
How to Make Chocolate Chip Caramel Blondies
First, brown the butter. After it’s cooled slightly, add it to your standard blondie ingredients (I have 30+ variations of blondies) including an egg, brown sugar (I used dark for a richer flavor), vanilla, and flour before stirring in the chocolate chunks.
It’s an easy no-mixer recipe and aside from the sauté pan used for browning the butter, there is just one mixing bowl used, which is sure nice when you’re doing dishes later.
Spread 60% of the dough into the bottom pan, bake for 10 minutes, and drizzle with the salted caramel sauce. Top with the remaining 40% of the batter, bake for 15 minutes, and then you need to let this hot, heavy, scorchingly hot pan of caramel and chocolate and everything delicious chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight, before slicing and serving.
If you dig in beforehand, you will have a big mess on your hands and there will be nothing neat about how they look.
What Kind of Caramel Sauce Should I Use?
You can use store bought salted caramel sauce and half of one 1o-ounce jar of Trader Joe’s works well. Or you can make Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce in 15 minutes using my scratch recipe. Either are great options.
Can I Use Chocolate Chips Instead of Chunks?
Chocolate chunks melt into the dough as the blondies bake and the chocolate is literally interwoven into every bite. Chocolate chips will remain much more intact and will not become nearly as dispersed into the dough like chunks will. For this recipe, I was going for a melted, dispersed chocolate effect, and used Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chunks but use what you prefer.
Tips for Making Salted Caramel Blondies
When adding the salted caramel sauce to the pan, make sure not to get too close to the edges of the pan, preserve at least 1/2-inch margins, because this is what will cause extreme sticking if the caramel bakes into the edges of your pan.
Also, I also highly recommend lining your baking pan with heavy duty non-stick aluminum foil for easier cleanup. Make sure to use a heavy duty non-stick foil or the foil could stick to your dessert. But if you don’t use foil, the dessert could stick really terribly to your pan.
Note that these salted caramel bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
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- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, browned
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed (light may be substituted)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 3/4 to 1 cup chocolate chunks (chips may be substituted)
- 5 ounces salted caramel sauce (about 1/2 cup), store bought or homemade
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes, such as Maldon, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F, line an 8x8-inch pan with heavy duty non-stick aluminum foil for easier cleanup, and spray with cooking spray. Note - Use a heavy duty non-stick foil or the foil could stick to your dessert, but if you don't use foil, the dessert could stick really terribly to your pan, you have been warned.
- To a medium high-sided saute pan, add the butter, and heat over medium-high heat to melt, stirring nearly continuously or swirling the pan. Butter will melt, foam, turn clear, golden, turn brown, and then will smell nutty. As soon at the butter begins to turn brown and there are a few brown specks (but not black), take the pan off the heat, pour butter into a large bowl, and continue to stir for about 1 minute, to ensure carryover heat doesn’t continue to cook and subsequently burn the already browned butter. Set aside to cool for 5 to 10 minutes so you don’t scramble the egg.
- Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, salt, and stir to combine; don't overmix.
- Add the chocolate chunks and stir to combine. See NOTE 1 below.
- Transfer about 60% of the batter to the prepared pan into an even flat layer, reserve the remainder of the batter, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until base layer has just barely set.
- Remove pan from the oven and evenly drizzle the salted caramel, leaving at least a bare 1/2-inch margin around the edges. See NOTE 2 below.
- Evenly add the remaining 40% of the batter to the top of the salted caramel in small blobs, about 1/4-cup each in size. Using a spatula, smooth the blobs of batter together to form a top layer, noting you will not quite have complete coverage, but this is okay because the dough spreads while it bakes.
- Evenly sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the top layer of dough is set. Allow the bars to cool, uncovered in the pan, at room temp, for at least 3 hours (overnight is preferred) before slicing and serving.
- Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
1. The chocolate chunks melt into the dough as the blondies bake and the chocolate is literally interwoven in every bite. Chocolate chips will remain much more intact and will not become nearly as dispersed into the dough like chunks will.For this recipe, I was going for a melted, dispersed chocolate effect, and used Trader Joe's Chocolate Chunks but use what you prefer.
2. Half of one 10-ounce jar of Salted Caramel Sauce from Trader Joe's works perfectly for this recipe. Or make your own Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce in 15 minutes using my scratch recipe. When adding the salted caramel sauce to the pan, make sure not to get too close to the edges of the pan, at least 1/2-inch margin, because this is what will cause extreme sticking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 296mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g
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