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Maple Pecan Caramel Brown Butter Blondie<

Recipe courtesy of American Heritage Cooking

INGREDIENTS

For the Blondie:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Maple Pecan “Caramel”:
4 cups pecan halves and pieces
2 cups grade B maple syrup
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sweet cream, unsalted butter
2 large pinches sea salt
Fleur de sel or more sea salt for sprinkling

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the Blondie:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 13x9x2 inch metal baking pan with parchment paper.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

3. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, swirling several times a minute, until browned bits cling to the bottom of the pan and the butter takes on a slightly nutty aroma. Transfer brown butter to a medium bowl.

4. Add brown sugar and beat, with an electric mixer, until well combined and mixture resembles wet sand, 2-3 minutes.

5. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until fluffy, 2 minutes. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth. The batter will be very thick.6

6. Using an offset spatula, evenly spread batter in pan.

7. Bake blondie until golden brown or 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. 

To make the Maple Pecan “Caramel”:

1. Toast pecans in 350° oven until the toasted nut aroma starts wafting through your kitchen, 10-12 minutes. Toss them about and check on them every several minutes. They will burn in a matter of minutes if you aren’t careful.

2. Pour maple syrup in a deep pot with a thick bottom. Being to a boil over medium heat and let boil softly for ~15 minutes. Stir every few minutes with a heat proof spatula or spoon to reduce the bubbles. You will notice that the syrup will start to coat the outside of the spatula or spoon and will cool quickly into a caramel-like consistency. It will resemble candy at the softball stage.

3. Stir in the butter until it is completely melted and then add the cream, stirring constantly. It will not bubble up dangerously like caramel but it will still be very hot. Add the salt and then stir to mix.

4. Remove from heat and stir in pecans to coat. Pour over cooled blondie and spread evenly.

5. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Then remove from pan and cut into bars. Sprinkle with fleur de sel or sea salt.

6. Make ahead: you can store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Let the bars come to room temperature before serving.