Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Blondies*

caramel pecan blondies

I can’t quite call this one a disaster, but this recipe certainly didn’t turn out as I expected–which is why I felt I should post it with an asterisk and an explanation.

When I think of blondies, I think of the vanilla version of a brownie . . . something reasonably dense, maybe a little fudgey, somewhat like a cookie in texture.  What I do NOT think of is something akin to coffee cake.  Which is what this turned into.  I have my suspicions about what may have happened, but I won’t know for sure until I get a chance to bake these up again, and since they really are tasty–regardless of what you call them–I figured I shouldn’t wait any longer to post them.  And when I say tasty, I do mean tasty . . . as in, sneak down in the middle of the night to eat the last one before your husband does tasty.  Be warned.

caramel pecan blondie trioThe recipe below is written the way things were supposed to happen, but here’s the “asterisk” to this post:  I forgot to reserve part of the blondie batter, so I ended up with a single layer of blondie batter topped with a single layer of cheesecake bater.  Then I ran out of time and had to put the pan, batter-filled and not yet swirled, into the fridge for a couple hours before I could come back and bake them.  When I pulled the pan out of the fridge, the batter was set and didn’t want to swirl so much.  And finally, due to chaos involving a dinner guest, and miscommunication with my husband, the oven timer ended up turned off and I don’t know how long they actually baked, except that I’m pretty sure they were overbaked.  And I burned myself, too.  There you have it.  End result, super tasty, but very coffee cake-like, and a little dry on the edges, treat.  I will be making them again, without a doubt.

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Blondies (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Blondie batter:

  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cheesecake batter:

  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Toppings:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter caramel (or store bought caramels), room temp
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 325.  Line a 9 inch square pan with foil or parchment, spray with baking spray.

Prepare blondie batter: cream butter and brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.  Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to butter mixture and beat just until smooth.  Spread about half of the batter in the prepared pan; reserve the remainder.

Prepare cheesecake batter: beat butter, cream cheese, sugar, egg, flour, and vanilla just until smooth.

Spread cheesecake batter on top of blondie batter in pan.  Dot with remaining blondie batter.  Pour or spoon caramel over the top of the batter, distributing as evenly as possible.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans.  Using a butter knife, swirl the layers together by drawing the knife through the batter several times in each direction.

Bake until pick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, approximately 45 minutes.

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