Caramello Blondies

Caramello Blondies-Caramel

Caramello bars have always been one of my favorite candy bars!  So when I came across this recipe I thought, let’s do this! Making these blondies was both a good and bad decision. Good, because they were delicious. Bad, because I wanted to eat them all! Luckily I was able to pawn some off…uh I mean give some,  to a friend.  From what I was told, her family loved them!

These bars are super sweet and tasty! Now, just a warning, they may be too sweet for the average person. I cut an 8×8 pan of blondies into 16 squares and you could probably eat half of one of those and be satisfied. I definitely recommend eating one with a glass of milk nearby. If you love sweet treats, caramel, and white chocolate, then you will love these!  Bake it or leave it?  Bake it!

Here’s where I found the recipe: http://www.ohbiteit.com/2012/06/caramello-blondies.html

Servings: 16

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40-50 minutes (including melting caramel)

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:Caramello Blondies-Mixing Bowl

1 Box of yellow cake mix

60 Individually wrapped KRAFT caramels (one bag plus about 10 from another)

1 Cup finely chopped pecans

1/2 Cup white chocolate chips

1/2 Cup melted butter

1/3 Cup evaporated milk

1/2 Cup evaporated milk (additional)

1/4 Cup powdered sugar (only if you want it for dusting the bars)

Caramello Blondies- Bottom Layer

Caramello candy bars for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F

In a medium bowl, combine the cake mix, pecans, butter, white chocolate chips, and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk and mix well.

Spray a 9×9 (or 8×8 in my case) pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Split the dough in half and press one half down into the bottom of the pan.  Try to make sure it’s even.

Bake this at 350 F for 8-10 minutes.

While that is baking, melt the caramels in a double boiler with the 1/2 cup of evaporated milk.  (If you don’t have a legit double boiler, you can use two pots stacked on top of each other.  Or you can use a metal bowl on top of a pot. Just make sure it doesn’t have a plastic bottom.)Caramello Blondies-Double Boiler

Make sure to constantly stir the the caramel to help it melt evenly.  Just be patient, it’ll take some time for this part : )

Pour the melted, gooey, delicious caramel onto the bottom blondie layer and set aside.

Take the other half of your dough and press it into a kind of square shape.  I put some flour on a rolling mat and rolled it into a square shape.  I then just turned the mat upside down over the pan and plopped it on top of the melted caramel.  You could also place wax paper under the dough and roll it on that and then just peel if off of the paper and place it on top of the caramel layer.

It’s OK if your dough doesn’t completely cover the caramel layer.  It will expand while baking.

Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes or until it’s lightly golden brown and firm.

Let it cool and then place it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to set up.

When ready, you can cut your blondies into squares and dust with powdered sugar and top with a broken up Caramello bar!  I only used the powdered sugar and Caramello bar for my picture.  I think the blondies are plenty sweet without the added sugar on top : ) But it does look pretty!

Caramello Blondies-Final Shot

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving):

Calories: 395

Carbs: 54

Fat: 19

Protein: 4

Sodium: 282

Sugar: 40

*Courtesy of MyFitnessPal recipe calculator (nutrition facts do not include powdered sugar or Caramello bar for topping)

Banana Cake

Banana Cake-Sliced Into

Let me start off by saying this. I love banana cake and banana bread. Who doesn’t? It’s delicious. So when I had a few VERY ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter, I knew exactly what to do with them. I searched Pinterest for a tasty and easy looking recipe and came across this one. I had all of the ingredients on hand so I went for it. The result? Super moist and tasty banana cake. It came out better than my banana bread ever has.  I will definitely be making this one again! I’m just not sure how I feel about the lemon icing. I think I would make a basic vanilla buttercream or cream cheese frosting to go with it next time.  Fun fact, turns out the creator of this recipe is a well known chef in New Zealand. That’s pretty cool. You never know where Pinterest will lead you! So bake it or leave it? BAKE IT!

Here’s where I found the recipe:  http://www.annabel-langbein.com/recipes/banana-cake/255/

Servings: 8 (that’s for a large slice)

Prep Time: 15 minute

Cook Time: 50-60 minutes (mine took about 70-75 minutes)

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

250 g butter, softened (about 18 Tbsp)

1 1/2 Cups sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp natural vanilla essence (pure vanilla extract)

4 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 2 cups)

2 tsp baking soda
Banana Cake-mixing 2

1/2 Cup hot milk

3 Cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

 Lemon Icing: 

50 g butter, softened (about 3 1/2 Tbsp)

3 Tbs lemon juice

3 Cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 170 celsius or 338-350 Fahrenheit (I did 338 degrees F, so cooking time was longer).  Line a 23 cm round cake tin (about 9″) with baking paper or prepare cupcake tins (I used an 8″ spring form pan and I skipped the paper step and just buttered my pan).

Banana Cake-Cooked

Beat butter and sugar until creamy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla, then the mashed bananas.  Dissolve the baking soda in hot milk over the stove and add to the mixture.  Sift the flour and baking soda over the mixture and fold in.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan or tins and smooth the top.  Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is springy to the touch.

One large cake will take about 50-60 minutes, allow 45-55 minutes for 4 medium cakes and about 20 minutes for cupcake-sized cakes.  (As you can see in the picture above, I like to place my spring form pan on a cookie sheet so it’s easier to take out of the oven)

Cool in tin and frost when cool.  Store in a sealed container in a cool place for 2-3 days or wrap non-frosted cake and freeze. (Tip for covering the cake: put a mixing bowl upside down over the cake. That’s what I did so as not to disturb the frosting)

To make the icing, beat together butter, lemon juice, sugar, and 1/2 Tbsp hot water until creamy (I didn’t use the water).

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving):

Banana Cake-Full 2

Cake 

Calories: 598

Carbs: 83

Fat: 28

Protein: 9

Sugar: 44

Sodium: 477

Lemon Icing

Calories: 226

Carbs: 46

Fat: 5

Protein: 0

Sodium: 1

Sugar: 44

*Courtesy of MyFitnessPal recipe calculator (nutrition varies based on serving size)