Even though I haven't broke out the pumpkin yet, I think I can still keep it Fall-oriented around here because of my inherent obsession with apples. Also, the apple festivals popping up everywhere are encouraging this obsession of mine, so, this is one season I can definitely work with. Last week, I took my nephews to an apple festival at a farm near me and I may have enjoyed it slightly more than they did. But can you blame me? They had a ginormous table set up with samples of every apple dessert you can think of. I may or may not have convinced my nephews that adults are allowed more than one sample because they have bigger tummies.
I don't think the oldest one who is almost as tall as me bought this though. Nevertheless, we all got our fair share of apple treats, and we got to taste all the different types of apples the farm grows. This tasting experience was made extra special with the accompanying caramel dip. You can catch a glimpse of it here in this picture. Oh, that caramel dip. It was creamy, it was dreamy, and it inspired me to create these caramel apple blondies.
I think the last time I had a caramel apple was way back in my Home Economics class in high-school, and from what I remember, it wasn't all that enjoyable to eat because it was really hard, sticky, and borderline painful for my teeth. Well, don't worry, you won't find none of that here. I made sure these blondies were the complete opposite: super soft, super gooey, and super delicate on your teeth.
And super delicious, of course! I brought these to a Fall themed ladies night over the weekend and they were devoured in milliseconds. Even my mom, who has always told me it's rude to eat what you bring to someone's house, snagged herself a piece after she heard everyone raving. She loved them so much that we made a batch for ourselves the next day. But that batch went fast too since I shared it with my nephews, and since my dad had tasted them too at that point and also thought they were amazing, we made yet another batch the following day.
Basically, what I'm trying to say, is you should just double the batch when you make these. It is completely and utterly necessary.
Caramel Apple BlondiesYield: 16 squares
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 cup oil
1 large egg
1 cup peeled, diced apples
For the caramel filling:
10 soft caramel candy squares
2 and 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
In another medium-sized bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together sugar, oil, and egg until smooth and blended. Add flour mixture and beat until well-combined. Batter will be thick. Fold in diced apples.
Spoon about 2/3 of the batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together caramel candies and heavy cream, stirring constantly so the mixture doesn't burn. Once caramel is completely melted and smooth, drizzle over batter.
Spoon remaining batter in dollops over caramel, then swirl it in gently with a knife. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out with a few, moist crumbs attached.
Cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes, before cutting into squares and serving.