Friday, December 16, 2011

You've Been Chopped ... (Creamed, Blended & Baked)

"You've been Chopped."

No, I'm not a Karate Kid fan. But I do like the food competition shows on the Food Network. Supposedly, the Food Network hopes to attract male viewers with shows based on competition.

But this female's favorite food shows also center around competition. I'll watch them battle on Cupcake Wars. Have a favorite dish? Let's see how it stacks up with a Bobby Flay Throwdown. Let the battle begin on Iron Chef. Who will keep their cool and avoid being Chopped?

I have my own version of Chopped, I suppose. If a recipe doesn't stack up, it gets Chopped. I tried some Cake Batter Blondies I found on another blog, but they won't be making another appearance on the County Line, though the marshmallow buttercream icing that went on them just might bear repeating.

But these Caramel Swirled Pretzel M & M Blondies made the cut (and made it onto some holiday cookie trays, too.)

If you - like me - are chopping, blending, creaming and mixing to get ready for Christmas celebrations, here's the recipe to try. Enjoy!

Caramel Swirled Pretzel M & M Blondies
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups Pretzel M & Ms
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 package caramel bits
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugars together in mixing bowl. Add vanilla and eggs; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; on low, add to creamed mixture. Fold in pretzel M & Ms and chocolate chips.

In the prepared pan, press 2/3 of the batter into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes until just beginning to set, but not golden brown. While the bottom is baking, put the caramel bits into a microwave-safe bowl, along with the milk. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute until melted.

Pour the melted caramels over the partially baked layer. Drop the remaining batter by spoonfuls over the caramel and spread as well as possible. Continue baking for 15 minutes or until golden brown and the caramel is bubbling.

Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Note: The original recipe called for one 14-ounce bag of caramels, unwrapped. I like the convenience of the caramel bits, but if you can't find them, feel free to unwrap. It also called for coarse sea salt. I didn't have coarse sea salt. And I'm not a big believer in supposed "fancy" ingredients like that. Salt is salt is salt. Maybe the bigger granules make a difference, but by the time you mix it all up, I can't see that it would make a bit of difference. If you have coarse sea salt in your cabinet, go for it!

Modified from Cookies and Cups blog.


Need some other recipes to round out your cookie trays? These are tried and true from my kitchen to yours!

For Chewy Pumpkin Caramel Bars and Date Nut Balls, click here.

Or try Thumbprint Cookies.

Maybe Chocolate Toffee Delights will fill the baking bill.

Chocolate and coffee combine in these bars.

For more ideas, type "cookies" or "bar cookies" into the search engine at the top lefthand corner of Kim's County Line. Happy baking!


  1. Those sound great. I too like the show Chopped!

  2. Looks like you have been busy, Kim! Thanks for the recipe ideas. I also like the fancy napkins as picture backdrops! I have a similar simple china pattern. Elegance!


  3. Well now I must get busy baking!.....great pics!