Crazy Blond Brownies

Addictive. I know it’s overused, especially when we talk about food. In this case, it is true. I find myself thinking “they’re small, just one more…”. I sent most of yesterday’s batch in a package to #5, who is eating college food these days. It’s always a good strategy to have cookies in your dorm room. Also glad the college is feeding him these days. Wouldn’t want their grocery bill… For the first time in 30 some years, I can stop at the store for a prescription and walk out with just a prescription. Not having ANY trouble getting used to that! For the record, I really do miss my kids. I just don’t miss finding a whole chicken devoured less than 24 hours after I bought it…

This recipe is from King Arthur flour; I found it printed on the white whole wheat flour package. You don’t have to use King Arthur, but it is my flour of choice. A really soft, cheaper flour will likely produce a gummy brownie.

Back to the brownies. I love caramel, even more so in the fall. The cooler temps and many changes seem to awaken in me a craving for buttery, sugary, melty, creamy kinds of things. In total honesty, just typing that sentenced awakened the craving. I have a hidden stash of Kraft caramel gems for such a time as this.

Yes. Back to the brownies. It is a little more work and time, but definitely worth it to start out with a caramel-y base. It isn’t a big deal to melt it down, but you will have to factor in time for the butter-sugar mixture to cool. So these are a good choice to get started when you have something else to put together in the kitchen.

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I used caramel bits, which you can find in the baking section; this time of year they should be something your grocer is highlighting, so stock up if they are on sale! We are very fortunate to have in-laws that winter in Florida and bring Georgia pecans home with them in the spring, faithfully sharing. Those pecans are like velvet. Make sure your pecans aren’t bitter (store them in the freezer if you don’t use them often, as the oils can go rancid) or that will mess up the entire wonderful taste experience! Follow the instructions; these are not hard but they are a little picky.

Crazy Blond Brownies
from King Arthur Flour

1/2 C butter
1 1/2 C br sugar, lightly packed
Melt the butter, add the brown sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth.
Remove from heat, pour into a mixing bowl, and allow to cool until lukewarm.

Add:
2 lg. eggs
2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 3/4 C white whole wheat flour (if using white flour, add a scant 2 C)
2 t. baking powder
Combine well. Do not overbeat.

Fold in:
1C milk chocolate chips
1 C caramel bits (or butterscotch chips)
1 C diced pecans or walnuts

Spread mixture evenly in a lightly greased 9×13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until light brown on the edges and top.
Remove from oven; loosen the edges with a table knife.
Cool completely before cutting.
Yield: 2 dozen 2″ squares

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