As promised, I’m still looking at uses for the excellent caramel sauce (the recipe is in a prior post 3/3/14). Today, I took the lessons learned from the less than perfect caramel chocolate cookie and applied it to a bar cookie, the coconut blondie from the 1992 Gourmet recipe (see 1/23/14). If you don’t want to look back at what happened to the chocolate chip caramel cookie; basically I mixed the caramel into the cookie batter, and created a cookie that spread excessively and cooked too fast.
Today I took the coconut blondie recipe with no alterations until the spreading of the batter in the 9” X 13’’’ X 2 ½” inch pan. I put ½ of the dough in the bottom of the pan, plus just enough more dough to ensure complete coverage of the bottom of the pan. I then took cold caramel sauce from the refrigerator, and spread ribbons of caramel on to but not mixed in the dough. I used the remaining dough to create a top layer, and spread it evenly. I was careful not to have exposed caramel. It might have been easier to have warmed the caramel sauce, but by using it directly from the refrigerator, it is probable that this prevents the caramel from mixing directly into the batter before cooking.
Into a preheated 350 degree oven, checked at 20 minutes, removed at 25 minutes when the edges got brown and pulled away from the sides of the pan. Here is a picture at removal:
Let the blondies cool completely in the baking pan on a wire rack before cutting into squares. This picture shows the cut bar cookie:
I’ve learned the lesson. The secret is not directly exposing the caramel to direct heat. The blondie cooked normally, but the caramel adds a layer of complexity to the already excellent taste of the bars, and is a notable improvement. Of course, it helps to have already made caramel sauce in the refrigerator!