What the hell is it with Blondies and Brownies just makes me unable to photograph them well? I mean, nights are setting in so I cracked my lighting kit out for the first time this “Autumn” which didn’t help as I was only starting to get used to it before so now months without practise haven’t been good. I baked this back when Autumn was first starting up. There’d been a chill in the air for about a week or so, with a few cold days on top of the crisp mornings. I welcomed it. Summer is overrated. To quote Brand New (who I was seeing on that Friday)); The time has come for colds, and overcoats. Which is why I’ve made my first vaguely autumnal recipe of the year; Pecan & Caramel Blondies. (Since this I’ve done a ton more and they’ll be coming up over the next few weeks).
It’s the first bake I bought into my new office, and as my new manager can’t eat chocolate I wanted to make it friendly for all. While this can be relatively simple usually, I wanted to do something fairly quick as I’d had a busy week and was just generally shattered. So fitting this into an hour or so was essential, rather than taking up a whole evening, when all I really wanted to do was put on PJs and stick on the US Office.
I turned to my good old friend Tastespotting and found this recipe here, which I doubled in size to make a more generous portion and used English dairy toffees instead of salted caramels (simply because I couldn’t find an equivalent in the shops near me). The toffees worked well and left really good chewy centres throughout the blondies, as well as flavouring well with the pecans.
- 225g unsalted butter
- 440g dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 255g all purpose flour
- 100g cup pecans, chopped
- 15-20 dairy toffees or caramel squares, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan assisted) and line a 16x16 inch tin/pan with greaseproof paper.
- In a saucepan over, over medium heat, melt the butter. Once it's melted continue to cook it until it JUST begins to brown. Don't let it burn. Once it's browned, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool a little.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl and mix in the brown sugar until it's smooth.
- Stir in the egg and vanilla.
- Stir in the flour and salt, followed by the pecans and caramels. Be very careful at this point not to overmix the mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepated pan and place in the center of the preheated oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top has sealed and started to crack. They should be set in the middle when you give it a bit of a wobble.
- Allow to cool in the pan for a while before transferring to a wire rack.