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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Salted-Caramel Brown Butter Chewy Bars

Salted-caramel browned-butter chewy bars
These are similar to a brownies but taste like salted-caramel. The top has just a tiny hint of crispness and when you bite into it the texture is chewy and soft.

This is our "go-to" guilty pleasure recipe. As a baker, we always have these ingredients on hand and in 30 minutes we can be enjoying them. What's really great about these is they're chewy and decadent.

It only requires one pot. Easy to make, easy to clean-up!


Makes 16 small bars

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 125 grams all-purpose flour (that's one-cup of properly measured flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line an 8" x 8" baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Do not grease it.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it just begins to turn brown.
    
    Perfectly browned
  4. Remove the pan from head and stir in brown sugar all sugar particles are coated.
    
    Browned butter and brown sugar all mixed up
  5. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the salt.
    
    This batter will have a very thick, gooey texture
  6. Pour into prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle the kosher salt on top and bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Cool completely to firm up or they will fall apart while trying to cut them.
  9. After cooling, run a knife around all four sides. Using the sides of the foil as handles, carefully lift whole thing the pan and sit on the counter. With a large knife, cut off all four sides so you have a perfectly shaped square, then cut the middle into 16 even squares. (The sides that get cut off are my favorite part. We munch on them and then save the squares for guests.)
    
Salted-caramel browned-butter chewy bar
Notes: We use the foil instead of greasing the dish because we don't want them to stick together when cutting and stacking for display. If you're just going to cut and serve them from the pan as you would with brownies, you'll want to grease the pan. You can find a disposable foil 8" square baking pan at any grocery store for really cheap. If you double the recipe, you can bake it in a 9" x 13" pan but they'll be a bit thicker so you'll need to increase the cooking time by about 3 to 5 minutes. (You will have a very difficult time removing them from the larger pan to cut.)

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