These caramel apple blondies are the grown-up version of a caramel apple – without the mess! Served warm with gooey caramel, these are sure to please.
This is one of those times.
These caramel apple blondies are a grown-up, less cumbersome version of a caramel apple. They’re rich, gooey, and packed full of spiced apple chunks and caramel bits. No awkward, help-there’s-caramel-all-over-my-face moments here. Unless of course you want there to be caramel all over your face, then by all means go for it. I’m just saying that these will give you less anxiety about eating them in public.
These blondies are rich, which probably goes without saying if you peep the ingredient list below, and are best eaten with a fork. I mean, do you see all that gooey caramel oozing? I promise you won’t need a large piece to feel wholly and completely satisfied. Smaller serving size = more pieces per batch = a greater number of happy mouths get to experience these bad boys. This is the perfect dessert to serve at a fall gathering or to make simply for you and your family, with a happy freezer ready and willing to accept the leftovers.
Until next weekend. 🙂
Most of the ingredients in these blondies are easy to find already in your pantry of wherever you buy groceries, except for maybe the maple extract and the caramel chips. Can I gush about maple extract for a second? Love, love, LOVE. It adds such a warm, maple-y, totally fall taste without any of that “fake-maple” flavor. I found mine at a natural foods grocer for just a few dollars, but I bet you can find some online or maybe even in conventional supermarkets. It adds a fab maple twist without all the sugar that would come along with baking with maple syrup. For other recipes using maple extract, see my mini maple irish soda breads, maple walnut muffins, and oatmeal maple bars with pecan graham crust.
…of course, you can always substitute extra vanilla extract in for the maple extract if you don’t have any on hand, but I highly recommend adding maple extract to your repertoire. Mmmm mmm.
If the fabulously fall flavors going on here (and let’s be honest, that caramel…) aren’t enough to get you on board with these blondies, your kitchen will smell AH-MAZING. Like even if it’s a gloriously beautiful and breezy 65 degree day, you’ll jump up and slam those windows shut to keep in the scent that’ll be pouring out of your oven as they bake.
Trust me, worth it!
I found caramel chips in the baking aisle of my regular grocery store, but in the past I’ve used chopped up caramel squares. Those work too if you’d prefer to use those, but I found they hardened up considerably once the blondies cooled, making it even more of a necessity to heat everything up for serving.
Gooey Warm Caramel Apple Blondies
For the apples:
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
For the blondies:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (8 tbsp)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp maple extract*
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup caramel chips, plus more for topping
- In a medium saucepan set over low-medium heat, add 1 tbsp butter, 2 tsp brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir so that all ingredients are combined and butter melts. Add apple chunks and stir to coat apple pieces evenly. Let apples cook for 5-10 minutes, or until they have softened and coating is warm and gooey. Remove pan from heat while you prepare the blondie batter.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" x 9" pan and set aside. Melt butter and add to a medium-sized bowl. Add brown sugar and beat until mixture is smooth and lump-free. Add egg, vanilla extract, and maple extract and again beat until all ingredients are well-combined.
- Add salt and flour and mix until the flour is just mixed in, taking care not to overmix. Stir in apple chunks and 1/2 cup of the caramel chips.
- Pour batter into the greased pan and press additional caramel chips into the top surface if you'd like. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until blondies are set and the top layer has solidified. Let blondies cool in pan and serve warm. Store in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.