fall baking comes in many forms. pumpkin, maple, chai spices and caramel. technically caramel is a year round flavor. but, it really shines during fall. these salted caramel rye blondies are the perfect way to add the seasonal favorite to your baking list.
what I love about these cookie bars
these rye blondies are so many wonderful flavors packed into an incredibly easy to make cookie bar. they're best described as:
- slightly earthy (thank you rye)
- caramel-y (making this a word. you're welcome
- incredibly chewy
- a must make for fall
short and sweet ingredients list:
you need a handful of pantry staples to make these salted caramel rye blondies. that's what I love about them! you should have all these in your pantry or fridge already. but, if you don't, check my substitutes for some easy swaps.
- classic medium rye flour. look for the lightest color rye flour or use my favorite KAF
- baking powder
- unsalted butter
- light brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- salted caramel, store bought or homemade (more on that below)
- chocolate bars or chips
- flaky salt for topping
homemade vs store bought salted caramel sauce
for these cookie bars, it really is a matter of preference and time. if you have the time to make homemade caramel sauce, it really is the way to go. if not, these bars work so well with store bought, too! ¼ c of caramel sauce is used in total, so expect leftovers. the question is- do you want homemade salted caramel or not?? if you're going with store bought, I really love the Fleur de Sea Caramel Sauce from Trader Joe's. go with the brand you like best! remember, there will be leftovers!
how to make homemade salted caramel sauce
I've tried several methods to make salted caramel. the one I like the best comes from this recipe. it works every time and is always delicious!
- 1 c granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, evenly cubed
- ½ c heavy cream
- generous pinch of salt
heat sugar over low-medium heat. the sugar will begin to break down into liquid form. the sugar will form in clumps. stir frequently with a rubber spatula to help break the clumps apart and to encourage even melting. the sugar will then turn into an amber colored liquid.
turn off the heat, add the butter and stir to fully incorporate. continue whisking until all the butter has melted and is fully combined with the liquid sugar. be careful as the butter will cause the sugar to foam and rise.
remove the caramel from the heat. slowly whisk in the heavy cream. add in salt (about 1-2 teaspoon or to taste). pour into a heat proof container to cool to room temperature. I love these jars!
once cooled to room temperature, use in recipes or store in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
forget something? here's the best substitute
this recipe is written with the best ingredients, but sometimes you need a sub! here are the best ones for this recipe:
- rye flour: a light rye is best, but can be hard to fine. use 1 ¾ c (210g) all purpose flour instead
- light brown sugar: swap with dark brown for an extra moist and chewy cookie. swap with granulated for a lighter, more cake like cookie
- 9X9 baking pan: this recipe really works the best when baked in a 9X9 pan. round or square works fine. if using a smaller 8X8 pan, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees (325F). bake for the same length of time
need more blondie cookie bars? check these out!
salted caramel rye blondies
- medium sauce pan
- 9X9 square or round baking pan
- parchment paper
- 2 c (200g) classic medium rye flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter, browned (reduced down to 113g)
- 1 ¼ c (250g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 oz. (90g) 65-70% chocolate, coarsely chopped sub (½ c) semi sweet or bitter sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ c homemade or store bought salted caramel sauce
- 2 tsp flaky salt for topping, optional
- To make the brown butter, melt 10 tablespoon unsalted butter in a medium sauce pan over low-medium heat. Once the butter starts to foam, stir frequently with a whisk. The foam will increase, then subside while brown bits form at the bottom of the pan. The butter will smell nutty. Once this happens, remove the butter from the heat. Pour into a heat proof bowl and cool to room temperature. If making homemade caramel, do this step now. See blog post section for notes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving 1-2" overhang on two sides. This helps remove the blondies after baking.
- Whisk together the rye flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a seperate bowl, whisk together the cooled browned butter and brown sugar until smooth and no lumps of sugar remain. Whisk in eggs one at a time, until smooth and well combined. Whisk in vanilla extract until smooth and well combined. Stir in flour ½ at a time. Stir until most of the flour has been incorporated. A few flour streaks is totally fine!! Fold in chopped chocolate pieces (or chips). These bars will rise slightly, but are meant to be chewy! Don't overmix, but don't worry too much about how much you've mixed.
- Evenly spoon scoops of batter into the prepared pan. Using an offset spatula, mini spatula or spoon, press the batter evenly into the corners and sides. Smooth the top as needed. Drizzle caramel sauce in swirled lines across the top of the smoothed batter. Using a toothpick or end of a knife, drag through the caramel ribbons to create the swrils. Alternatively, drop 5-6 spoonfuls around the batter and swirl!
- Bake at 350 F for 25-32 minutes. This is a big range for a reason. If using non- convection baking or a non metal baking pan, the times will vary. Look for set edges, slighly pulled from the edges of the pan and a golden brown top. A few moist crumbs is perfect. Start checking around minute 25. Mine were done (with a slighlty underbaked center) at around 27-28 miniutes using convection and a light metal 9X9 square pan. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Gently loosen the non lined edges from the pan using a butter knife. Lift the blondies from the pan using the overhang. Cool an additional 15-20 minutes before slicing for the cleanest cut.
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