I love making desserts that can be cut into tiny squares. Because they feed a crowd without the knives. And because they are tiny so you soon lose track of how many squares you ate. Piece of advice: Always make bars when you have a lot of people eyeing you hustle in the kitchen. Gladly I had my parents and siblings to help remove these blondies from my counter top. If you fancy cheesecake and soft cookies, know that this is a keeper.
I have been wanting to bake with brown butter for a while. And I’m so happy that I did. It really is the holy grail of baking! I cannot even tell you how amazing your apartment will smell as you let butter brown in the saucepan. It will scent your kitchen with an intoxicating fragrance. The nutty aroma laced with notes of butterscotch that lingers in the air will make you want to down the melted butter. It smells like a potion brewing. If you have made brown butter, you will understand my heightened emotions. If you haven’t, please make it so you can be in on the excitement.
One thing you definitely want to keep in mind is that these blondies are more on the cheesecake side. Cheesecake requires a good amount of chilling time and we’re talking 6-8 hours and possibly overnight. So, you want to treat these blondies the same way. Chilling these for at least 3-4 hours will allow the caramel, cheesecake, butterscotch flavors to meld. Everyone who ate these agreed that they taste so much better after chilled.
If you’re more into visuals, check out how I make this!
- Salted Caramel:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp salt (if you're feeling adventurous like me, up it to ¾ tsp)
- 1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Blondie Batter:
- ½ cup brown butter
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup All-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup crushed pretzels or any nuts you prefer (optional)
- ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Grease and line an 8x8 inch square pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare caramel sauce by letting your butter and sugar melt. Slowly add cream and let the mixture bubble on medium-low heat for four to five minutes until the sauce is thick. Remove from stove and keep aside.
- To brown butter, let butter melt on a low heat for 10-15 minutes until the melted liquid turns brown and it starts to smell nutty and butterscotch-y. Stir occasionally. Be sure to do this on a low heat because brown butter can quickly turn to burnt butter. Pour brown butter in a bowl to let it cool.
- For cheesecake batter, cream butter and sugar. Next crack in the egg and splash in the vanilla. Mix until combined. Keep the cheesecake batter aside.
- To make the blondies, combine sugar and brown butter. Next, add the egg and vanilla and combine. Dump in the flour and mix until everything is incorporated. Toss in crushed pretzels. I noticed that adding chocolate chips at this point would not be ideal because cheesecake takes longer to cook than the blondies.
- In your prepared pan, scoop out the blondie batter first. Spray your hands or a piece of parchment paper with some non-stick cooking spray and push the sticky batter to the edges of the pan. At this point, sprinkle the chocolate chips and drizzle some of the caramel.
- Next, pour the cheesecake batter. Now take a knife and swirl it through the batter so the blondies and cheesecake can mingle.
- Top with more crushed pretzels and caramel sauce (or you can omit the caramel sauce and simply pour it before serving, which I prefer).
- Bake for 30-35 mins until skewer inserted comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Don't overbake.
- Chill before 3-4 hours before serving for best results.