For a long time I dreamed about a perfectly dense and chewy blondie stuffed with caramel. After losing count of recipe trials, I feared it would never work, but then it did. These blondies are chewy, gooey, and irresistible. —Laura Dembowski
sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
packed light brown sugar
pure vanilla extract
caramel sauce, homemade or store bought, warmed slightly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 by 13 inch pan with parchment. Do not butter the pan, but make sure the parchment comes up the sides of the pan. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt.
In a large bowl, mix butter and sugars with a hand or stand mixer on medium high until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes. This must be done with a mixer as its ability to incorporate air is vital. Add the eggs 1 at a time, being sure to incorporate each before adding another. Add vanilla and mix to combine, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add the flour mixture in 2 installments. Mix until just combined, finishing mixing by hand.
Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. This is kind of tough since the parchment is not buttered, but take your time and it will work. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
When the blondie base is finished baking, it may cool up to 10 minutes, no longer, and it does not have to cool at all. Pour enough caramel over the base so that it is covered in a thick layer. The blondie will likely have puffed around the edges, leaving them bare and the caramel in the middle; this is fine. Do not spread the caramel to the edges; it will get there on its own. Take small clumps of the remaining batter in your hand, flattening them out and forming them before placing them on top of the caramel. Do this until the entire top is covered with batter, trying to avoid bare spots and sealing the edges as best as possible. The less you play with it the better as the batter will start to melt.
Bake for an additional approximately 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of both the entire blondie and the top half with only a few moist crumbs. The top should be hard and golden brown and the caramel bubbling. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting into bars. May be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Best thawed in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.