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The Best Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Blondie Recipe

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."

Chocolate chip blondies with salted caramel

Chocolate chip blondies with salted caramel

Chewy Blondies Recipe

Do you prefer blondies or brownies? Blondies, also called blonde brownies, sheet cookies or cookie bars, should be chewy, buttery and deliciously sweet. Built on brown sugar instead of cocoa, they can be varied with your selection of flavored chips, nuts and exotic ingredients such as coconut or dried fruit.

Blondies are quicker and easier than cookies and should be moist and chewy rather than dry and crumbly. They almost always contain flour, brown sugar, eggs, lots of butter and vanilla extract.

What's special about this recipe? We start with a rich, moist blondie and add bitter chocolate and buttery salted caramel for complexity and extra richness. Top one of these blondies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you'll have a dessert your friends won't soon forget!


  • The most important tip to remember when baking blondies is not to overcook them.
  • We prefer Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips, but milk chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch or peanut butter chips (or a combination) are also delicious.
  • Switch things up with walnuts, macadamia nuts or cashews instead of pecans.
  • We use pink sea salt in our caramel sauce but kosher or any sea salt works just as well. We don't recommend table salt as it can leave a metallic aftertaste.
  • Watch the sugar carefully while it melts, and stir, if necessary, to keep it from burning. Add butter and cream when melted sugar turns light brown. Don't allow caramelized sugar to become too dark.
  • If you are pressed for time, purchase caramel sauce at your local grocery store.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes for gooey, chewy blondies; 35-40 minutes if you like them firmer.
  • Blondies are done when they have a firm center, pull away from the pan and turn golden brown.
  • For a special treat, try blondie a la mode with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.

Blondies With Chocolate Chips & Salted Caramel

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

12 bars


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, preferably Ghirardelli 60% cacao
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted*

*To toast pecans: Place on a baking sheet and slide into the 350 Fahrenheit oven. Toast for about 10 minutes or until pecans turn golden brown. Cool.

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, salted
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt


  1. Butter a 7 x 11-inch or 9 x 9-inch baking dish. Drape with a strip of parchment paper cut to fit. Butter the paper.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
  3. Place a heavy-bottomed, medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add white sugar and watch carefully. When the sugar begins to melt, swirl the pan. Continue to swirl until the sugar has turned light golden brown. Be careful not to let it burn.
  4. Remove from heat and, using a whisk, incorporate the butter, cream and salt. Whisk until the caramel sauce becomes glossy and silky. Set aside to cool.
  5. Using a hand-held or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir by hand just until the chips are incorporated.
  7. Spread about 2/3 of the dough in the bottom of the baking dish.
  8. Pour caramel sauce over the top of the dough. Arrange toasted pecan halves across the caramelized surface.
  9. Dot the rest of the blondie dough over the caramel sauce and pecans.
  10. Place baking pan in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until blondies reach desired degree of doneness. (See tips.)
  11. Remove blondies from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes or until cool enough to touch. Take blondies out of the pan and peel off the parchment. Cool for 10 minutes more before slicing into squares.

How to Cut Blondies

  1. Wait until blondies are cool to touch.
  2. Use a sharp-edged metal spatula to cut around the outside edges, freeing the treats from the baking pan.
  3. If they are firm and cool enough, you should be able to slide them out of the pan. Grasp the waxed paper and gently slide them onto a cutting board or mat. Cut with a plastic or silicone knife (it won't stick).
  4. If you prefer gooey blondies, do not attempt to remove them from the baking dish.
  5. The best way to cut them while still in the pan is with a metal spatula. Using the sharp edge, push the spatula into the blondie and pull straight out again. Do this lengthwise and then crosswise, cutting the blondies into 12 small squares.
  6. Rinse or wipe the spatula frequently while you are cutting.
  7. Use a spatula to transfer them to a serving plate or Tupperware for storage.

Enjoy blondies with a cup of tea or coffee or a tall glass of cold milk.

Chocolate chip blondies with salted caramel

Chocolate chip blondies with salted caramel