It’s hard for me to believe, but as I write this I realize that I have not had ONE Christmas cookie yet this year. Some of you may be quick to point out that I blogged about the pumpkin sugar cookies brought on Thanksgiving Day but A.) that was November and B.) those were clearly Thanksgiving cookies and clearly not Christmas cookies.
Again, Kat has had no Christmas cookies yet this year. I’m not really sure how that happened since I baked two batches of cookies and then attended a cookie exchange last weekend. I have a beautiful assortment of cookies from said exchange in my outside fridge. Let us not forget (because I certainly haven’t) that I have the already-baked and ready-to-be-frosted Xmas sugar cookies in my outside freezer, too.
I feel I have shown remarkable restraint this year but my no-cookie-eating streak is about to come to an abrupt end once the caramel blondies come out of the oven. OMG, blondies are like a little slice of heaven. I posted earlier this year about the mystical bar that I first had at a church function. It took me, literally, years to figure out what they were and nearly involved me stalking the lady who donated them. Let’s just say its a good thing I couldn’t quite remember where she lived.
Today’s version is a re-do of the original recipe that lead me to discover that blondies are actually blondies. A light bulb went off for me when I saw the recipe in People magazine last year. Like a kid at Christmas, I couldn’t wait until my first batch came out of the oven. Sadly it was an epic failure. The original recipe called for a two-step cooking process and far too much of the star ingredient, a caramel-like creamy sauce known as dulce de leche. The end result was an ooey gooey mess that wasn’t a candy or a cookie. Try as I might I couldn’t figure out a way to redeem the sugary mess…so I threw it out and started over.
Now that the second batch (which looks way more brownie-like) is out of the oven, let the cookie eating commence!
- 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- one pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup dulce de leche
- Optional: 1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
Preheat oven to 350°
Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking pan with non-stick spray
Combine butter and sugars in a large bowl. Using beaters or electric mixer, beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; continue mixing and scrape sides with a spatula when necessary.
Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Spread the mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Pour dulce de leche evenly over the top. (The middle of mine “sank” a bit which left ridges on the sides. This was perfect to capture the dulce de leche when I poured in on.) Use a kitchen knife or spatula to swirl the batter slightly.
Return to the oven and bake another 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan.
Yield: 16 squares
Nutritional info: Lets not ruin the moment by calculating how totally fattening these little delights are. January is right around the corner and we can count calories then 🙂