These caramel cuts are a salted caramel blondie recipe that comes all the way from Hawaii! They're so addictive with a fudgey centre and a crackly top. Not only that but they're ridiculously easy to make and great for parties or to feed many people! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
These caramel cuts are based on a recipe by Punahou School. The Honolulu based private prep school is said to be Hawaii's most elite school and it also has a very famous alum President Barack Obama. His grandfather pulled some strings to get him into this school and he was a scholarship student. And apparently he was a big fan of these caramel cuts that were served at the school cafeteria. Their delicious sweet and salty caramel flavour is very addictive.
All About Caramel Cuts!
1 - These are like salted caramel blondies except they don't have any chocolate in them!
2 - These were made in huge sheet pans ready to serve up to hungry kids. They're easy to portion up into bars or squares
3 - They're great because you've probably got all the ingredients in your pantry already.
4 - They're made with brown sugar, butter, flour, eggs and vanilla! I love adding pecans to mine but that's optional and the original caramel cuts didn't have any nuts in them.
5 - Try adding some chocolate chips in the batter too!
I loved these caramel cuts so much that I made two lots in a week as everyone I offered them to devoured the first batch. Then I made another batch when we were invited over to our street's belated Christmas party. The couple that usually host it were overseas over Christmas and New Year's so it was held a month after Christmas. We were asked to bring a plate so I brought some peri peri chicken and a plate of these caramel cuts for dessert. It was starting from 5pm but we were running late. I had bought a larger chicken to feed more people so it took longer to cook. When Mr NQN came in to ask why we hadn't left yet I told him that the chicken was still cooking. "Yeah I guess it's not a good idea to serve undercooked chicken to people you've just met for the first time," he said.
At 6pm with a hot, saucy chicken and caramel cuts slice in tow we arrived just as they were laying out the spread to eat. While we know a few neighbours already, there were some people that we hadn't met before. There was a range of ages and some had just moved while others had been on the street for decades. We were also coming for the street gossip and the low down on everyone and were not disappointed. The woman that owned the house before us was a very polarising figure. Some people were the victims of her diatribes while others kept her at an amiable distance.
We also learned about another neighbour who kept two exotic birds whose cries I actually assumed were human. One sounds like a baby screaming and one sounds like a "woman being pleasured" (how another neighbour described the bird's cry). We got to know our direct neighbours better which was nice and the hosts gave us lots of fresh bay leaves from their tree and told me that any time I need any that I was welcome to come by for more. They were also the neighbours from which I got these beautiful frangipanes to lend these pictures a Hawaiian theme to them considering that the recipe is popular in Hawaii!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you know your neighbours well? Do you ever have street parties? And have you ever tried caramel cuts?
Caramel Cuts Blondies
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 46 minutes
- 2 cups/440g/1lb brown sugar firmly packed
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 250g/8.8ozs cake flour*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cake flour can be bought at the supermarket. You can also make it at home. To make 1 cup/150g/5.2ozs of cake flour replace 2 tablespoons of plain all purpose flour with cornflour/fine cornstarch and whisk well. I usually mix up a big batch of this and keep it in a container ready for baking cakes as it produces a softer texture.
Step 1 - Firstly toast the pecans. Spread them out in a single layer and bake at 180C/350 or 160C/320F fan forced for 8 minutes. Keep the oven on the same temperature. Chop pecans roughly and set aside.
Step 2 - Line a 20X20cm or 8x8inch square tin on the base and sides. Melt the butter in a saucepan and then stir in the brown sugar and mix to combine the two. Cool for 5 minutes and then place in a large bowl and mix in the eggs. Whisk the flour and baking powder together and then mix into the butter sugar mix along with the vanilla and salt. Finally stir in the pecans but do not overmix.
Step 3 - Press into the baking tin. I dampen my hands and smooth over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle with extra salt and cut into squares once cool.