Toffee Blonde Brownies are chewy but bits of buttery toffee candy add a little crunch! They are topped with a fail-proof Cheater's Caramel Icing. It tastes like the old-fashioned kind where your Grandma had to use a candy thermometer.
These decadent blonde brownies don't even NEED the icing-they're that good alone! But, you know me, I'm going to "gild the lily" and make something yummy even yummier!
The old-fashioned caramel icing used to frost a 3 layer cake has to be quickly spread or it will set up like concrete. Sometimes it will crystalize and harden before you could get the entire cake frosted because you have to get the time and temperature on the candy thermometer just right.
Luckily, you won't need a candy thermometer to have my "cheater's version" of caramel icing.
What's the shortcut for the icing?
The Cheaters Caramel Icing secret revealed: It is basically a simple caramel sauce made with brown sugar and butter then powdered sugar is stirred in at the end to make it spreadable!
If you are looking for something that's easy to put together but looks and tastes like you were in the kitchen for hours for your Christmas cookie swap or office party, these chewy toffee bars are your answer!
Why are these bar cookies the best for cookie swaps?
I love the fact that they are simple to make, serves a crowd, and I don't have to cut them out and decorate them.
The icing easily spreads to the edge of the brownies and settles into every nook and cranny, then magically turns into this caramel-flavored icing that will remind you of the old-fashioned frosting without all the work-another Southern shortcut!
Where can I serve these easy cookies?
These are also perfect for back to school lunches or potlucks. Get out of your comfort zone and go meet the new neighbors with a plate of these sweet treats or share with the ones that have lived on your street and you've never met!
Other shortcut cookies and candy recipes
If you make this recipe I'd love to see it! Tag me on social media with #gritsandgouda or @gritsandgouda. Leave a comment below the printable recipe if you have questions or tell me how you liked the recipe. Don't forget to rate it 5 stars if you love it!
PIN FOR LATER
Toffee Blonde Brownies with Cheater Caramel Icing
- 1/2 cup salted butter softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 8-oz package Bits o’ Brickle Toffee Bits (Found near chocolate chips.)
Cheater Caramel Icing:
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 cups powder sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°.Beat butter and sugars together with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl 3 minutes at medium speed or until light in color. Set a timer; this step is important. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until each one is incorporated. Add vanilla and beat at low speed just until incorporated
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium size bowl. I like to use a large paper plate so I don’t have to wash another bowl. Add flour mixture and toffee bits to mixing bowl; beat just until flour is incorporated.
- Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing edges to overhang 2 inches on the end. This will help remove the brownies for easy cutting. Coat the foil with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil. Dollop batter on bottom of lined pan, then spread the batter evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Don’t over bake them. You want them to be a little soft and gooey. Let cool in pan 20 minutes on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Combine brown sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Boil 5 minutes without stirring. Set a timer. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Beat caramel mixture in the saucepan with a handheld electric mixer about 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. It will still be pourable but will thicken as it cools. Pour icing over brownies in pan, spreading it to the edges. Let the brownies and icing cool completely and icing is firm, about 1 to 2 hours, before cutting.