Salted Caramel Brown Butter Stacked Blondie-Brownies

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Well, I’m done. I think I can put up the Closed – On Vacation sign and head to Kauai for a couple of weeks. When Saveur Magazine opened up their Blog Award nominations this week I wanted to search my photos for something that was really representative of the jazz hands I like to think I sprinkle around my food. All I could think about was my { brown butter + salted caramel blondies }. I get pretty excited by my coffee cakes too (and scones…and cookies), but nothing photographs as beautifully as the blondies. My blondie photo shoot was pure sugar porn. Every shot: money. Innocently enough I threw up a blondie photo on Instagram and thought I could go about my day. Silly me. I was trying to write my corned beef + hash post but my mind had already moved from savory to sweet and was stuck on those damn blondies. They make me a little OCD. Blondies can do that.

I am so in love with that salted caramel + brown butter blondie sweet bomb that my mind was drifting. Where else could I take this delicious flavor trio? What other heights could we reach? I was sedated in cough syrup and surrounded by sick kids home from school, yet even in the haze of contagion I had a brilliant moment of clarity. Somehow, my blondies and brownies needed to meet. An introduction of sorts. A ‘meet-cute’ as they call it in the movies. A brief courtship and then a marriage. For life. This wasn’t going to be a Vegas chapel wedding. Nope. Once these two came together I just knew it would be a match made in heaven. Love at first sight. Just like every Disney movie I’ve ever loathed and thought was hogwash. This was happening people. After a couple swigs of cough syrup and some aggressive sucking on throat lozenges, the deal was sealed and I was in my kitchen creating. I had finally found my love language. These salted caramel + brown butter stacked blondie-brownies completed me. Yes…just like the movie.

A couple of quick notes before we get started:

  • There is an obscene amount of butter happening here. Before you panic, I want you to consider that you are making double the amount of blondies/brownies that you would normally make. These are going in a 9 ½ X 11 pan. Guilt assuaged.
  • I love love love coffee in my chocolate-y sweets. You can go decaf if you don’t want that much of a jolt from your dessert. We should call this stacked blondie-brownie The Defibrillator. If these don’t get your heart racing, nothing will.
  • I’m going to list the ingredients for the blondies and the brownies separately because I think the recipe will read easier. I also included measurements in with the instructions so there wouldn’t be any confusion as to when you added what and how much. Basically, both recipes use the same ingredients but in different quantities and in different ways.
  • The Blondie kind of weighs down the brownie, so that the brownie forms a crust-like exterior. So don’t expect a perfect blondie-brownie ratio in every bite. You’re going to have more blondie, less brownie. Ohhh…these are so good. I want to make more.
{ salted caramel + brown butter stacked blondie-brownie } DisplacedHousewife

Let’s bake people.

{ salted caramel + brown butter stacked blondie-brownies }

Makes 18 Small or 9 Large Stacked Blondie-Brownies


For the Brownies

  • 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter (12 tablespoons)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-brewed espresso or coffee
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Blondies

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter (16 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-brewed espresso or coffee
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the Top

  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1 cup caramel sauce, plus more for serving (I like Fran’s or Recchiuti…don’t go cheap here…quality matters. Or you could make some.)
  • ½ – 1 cup chocolate sauce, optional


  1. Let’s make the brownies first, shall we?
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Line a 9 ½ X 11 pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick. This combo made it the easiest to get them out of the pan.
  4. Place the 1 ½ cups of chocolate in the top of a double boiler over medium-high heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Place the ¾ cup of granulated sugar in a large, heat-safe bowl.
  6. Place your 1 ½ sticks of butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat and brown your butter. It should take about 5 minutes. It will start to get frothy…stir it a bit. When the froth starts to dissipate, you’ll notice small brown bits starting to settle on the bottom of the pan. At that point, remove the butter from the heat. Pour into the heat-safe bowl with the sugar. Whisk around until it gets fully incorporated. It will be thick and sludgy.
  7. Whisk the 2 tablespoons of espresso/coffee and vanilla into the butter.
  8. Whisk the 1 ½ cups of melted chocolate into the butter-mixture and mix thoroughly. Take a big, giant whiff. Doesn’t that smell amazing? Mix well.
  9. Whisk the 3 eggs into the chocolate-butter mixture, one at a time, until each one is fully blended. Take care if your mixture is on the warm side to make sure to constantly be whisking so as not to scramble your eggs.
  10. In another bowl sift together the ¾ cup (plus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour, ¾ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
  11. Pour the flour mixture into the chocolate-butter mixture and mix until just incorporated. Make sure there aren’t any flour pockets.
  12. Pour the brownie mixture into the bottom of the prepared 8 ½ X 11 pan. Gently spread it so that it gets in the corners and is even.
  13. IF you want the brownies to have more of a presence in this (and not just form a crust), place them in the refrigerator while you make the blondies. This will give them a little more structure to fight back against the weight of the blondie.

Let’s Move onto the Blondies

  1. Wipe down the sauce pan that you used to brown the butter…we’re using it again to brown more butter and I don’t want a lot of darkened bits in there (a smattering is fine). Put the 2 sticks of butter in there over medium-high heat and brown the butter as instructed above. Remove from the heat when done and pour into a bowl to cool slightly.
  2. Add the 1 tablespoon of espresso to the butter. Stir to blend.
  3. In another bowl sift (or whisk) together your 2 ¼ cups of flour, 1 ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking powder.
  4. In yet another bowl (sorry about the dishes), whisk together the 1 ½ cups brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 3 teaspoons vanilla and 2 eggs.
  5. Whisk the sugar-egg mixture into the butter-coffee mixture.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the sugar-butter mixture until just combined. Make sure there aren’t any pockets of flour. I’m using the word mixture a lot…but I’ve been on cough medicine for days so I know you’ll forgive me.
  7. This is a thick batter so strategize before you throw it on top of the brownie mixture. Add equal scoops down the length of the pan. Use the back of a spoon to connect the blobs of blondie batter. It’s not going to be perfect. There will be brownie batter peeking up around the edges and maybe even shining through in spots around the top. That’s fine. Just make sure you make the top as even and smooth as possible.
  8. Get your caramel sauce and drizzle it all over the place like an artist. You may need to soften it in the microwave a bit (maybe 30 seconds).
  9. Pop this bad boy into the oven for 30-35 minutes. Check it at this point. How does it look? Is it jiggling a little or a lot? If it seems quite undone, then give it another 5 minutes. A little underdone and you’ve nailed it…that’s what you want. They will finish cooking and firm up in the pan as they cool. Just for reference I cooked mine for 45 minutes and they were too done. They tasted delicious (don’t get me wrong…nothing was burnt), but I would have liked them a little less done.
  10. As soon as they’re out of the oven, aggressively sprinkle with the coarse sea salt until your heart is content.
  11. Set them on a cooling rack and pretend none of this happened. Don’t futz with them, just leave them alone to finish their wonderful-ness. Go open a bottle of wine and put your feet up. Tell the kids you’re exhausted and pretend to have a headache.
  12. After about an hour or two, see if you can get them out of the pan…use the parchment paper to help you with this. These will be happier and cut better if you wait until they are cooled.
  13. Drizzle with more caramel and some chocolate sauce (if you’re feeling it) and serve.
  14. As soon as I hit post I’m going to go make some more.


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Rebecca xox


  • Wendy April 18, 2018 at 6:25 PM

    Any thoughts on how these handle freezing?

    • Rebecca Firth April 20, 2018 at 1:46 AM

      Hi Wendy!!! Would you freeze them after their baked or before? I haven’t tried it, but I would think they could handle either. If you freeze them unbaked, I would place in them in the fridge overnight to defrost and then bake as usually. Let me know how it goes! xoxo

  • DisplacedHousewife April 30, 2015 at 4:10 PM

    Hi Dawn & thank you!! I have not…the blondies are ooey gooey and I don’t know that they would have the structure to handle the weight of the brownie. If you try it, let me know. I’d love to hear how it works. Glad you found me!! xx

  • Dawn April 30, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    I’m curious…have you ever tried inverting this recipe? Blonde on bottom chocolate brownie on top.
    I’ve just discovered you and am enjoying your style

  • DisplacedHousewife March 6, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    Thanks Kelsey!! xx

  • Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel March 6, 2015 at 7:25 PM

    oh man these look so sinfully delicious!

  • DisplacedHousewife March 5, 2015 at 10:50 PM

    Thanks Amanda!!! I couldn’t agree more :)

  • Amanda Paa March 5, 2015 at 9:43 PM these look nothing less than amazing! and more butter makes everything better…… i saw the carrot top pesto too and i totally want to try that! xo