Vanilla Bean Caramel Blondies
Bars are my favorite dessert to make because they’re so fast and easy. No dough to chill or individual cookies to form.
For these very soft, slightly chewy, buttery blondies that are topped with the most amazing vanilla bean-infused caramel glaze, I called upon my trusty blondie base.
When I want an easy, fuss-free, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe that I know everyone will love, it’s my go-to . With 25+ versions and counting, it never lets me down.
It’s an easy recipe to memorize because everything is ‘one’. In the 1 bowl used, melt 1 stick of butter, stir in 1 egg, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1 cup flour.
The blondies are glazed with one of my favorite glazes of all time. It’s adapted from the Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake I made back in 2012, and I’ve never forgotten that glaze.
The glaze is caramely from the brown sugar, buttery, creamy, slightly salty that’s reminiscent of salted caramel, and flavored with vanilla bean paste. I recommend the paste because it’s more intensely flavored than vanilla extract, but extract will still work.
The glaze is rich, decadent, and I want it on everything. It’s especially good on the blondies and really makes the dessert pop.
Vanilla Bean Caramel Blondies
Bars are my favorite dessert to make because they’re so fast and easy. For these very soft, slightly chewy, buttery blondies that are topped with the most amazing vanilla-spiked caramel glaze, I called upon my trusty blondie base. It’s an easy, fuss-free, one-bowl, no-mixer recipe everyone loves. The glaze is caramely from the brown sugar, buttery, creamy, slightly salty and reminiscent of salted caramel, and flavored with vanilla bean paste. It’s rich, decadent, especially good on the blondies, and really makes the dessert pop. Use caution when making it because the mixture will bubble up as noted in the directions.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (half of 1 stick)
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 4 tablespoons half-and-half or cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (1 tablespoon vanilla extract may be substituted)
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (must be sifted)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
- Blondies – Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large, microwave-safe bowl add the butter and heat to melt, about 1 minute on high power.
- Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until top is set in center and done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Blondies firm up as they cool. While blondies are cooling, make the glaze.
- Glaze – This is a fast moving recipe; have everything in place before you begin. To a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
- To the melted butter, add the brown sugar and bring to a boil, whisking nearly continuously. Allow the mixture to boil quite rapidly for 1 minute, whisking nearly continuously.
- Remove pan from the heat, allow it to cool for about 1 minute, and add the cream, taking caution because the mixture will bubble up vigorously. Whisk aggressively to incorporate the cream and calm the bubbling.
- After the bubbling has subsided, add the vanilla bean paste and whisk to combine, using caution because the alcohol in it could cause the mixture to bubble up again.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar (I absolutely recommend using sifted sugar so the glaze whisks up smooth, silky, and free from lumps), optional salt, and whisk to combine. Glaze should be easily pourable but not too thin. If it’s too thin, add a touch more confectioners’ sugar and if it’s too thick, add a splash of cream and whisk until desired consistency is reached.
- Pour glaze over blondies and allow it to set up for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Glaze adapted from Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake
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