Everyone has a food that triggers nostalgic memories. But I bet you not everyone has a trigger rooted in their high school cafeteria.
At my school (Punahou) caramel cuts are the stuff of legend. Served for easily over sixty years, these treats have been the source of many torture messages and tags from my classmates over the years, especially in the run up to our 25th high school reunion. Ah caramel cuts. Just thinking about you makes my mouth water.
I spent a significant part of this summer trying to get my “cutz” recipe just right. I transformed it into a gluten free creation – but you don’t need to. However, I do think the addition of the almond flour adds a certain squidginess that more closely replicates the trays of cuts served to us at school.
I baked these in a standard “brownie” pan. That means they are thicker than my memories. I tried them once as “tray bake” – but I think to succeed with tray bake I’d need to double this recipe, to get just the perfect thickness.
No matter. My “cutz” have made an appearance at four parties over the course of the summer, and have vanished almost instantly. My English friend renamed them “Sticky Toffee Brownies” – that is a pretty close approximation to what they taste and feel like.
Enjoy, and tread with caution – cuts are loaded with sugar and butter and all the things that making having just one nearly impossible!!
1/2 cup butter (115g)
2 cups soft brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 and 1/4 flour (I use the Ideas in Food gluten free blend, but you can use whichever all purpose gluten free mix you prefer like Cup4Cup or similar, or just wheat all purpose flour)
1/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspooons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. In a separate bowl combine the flours and baking powder. Whisk together until well combined.
2. Melt the butter into a pan. (I used the pyrex I was baking in, to minimise cleanup)
3. Add the sugar and stir through the butter (over heat) until smooth and shiny and starting to form a goopy caramel.
4. Add the vanilla and salt to the caramel and stir through.
5. Stir in the dry ingredients until well combined.
6. If using a different baking dish to the one you combined the ingredients in, transfer to a greased baking dish.
7. Pop the dish into a 325*F / 160*C oven for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
8. The hard part – wait until the dish cools before devouring. And trying to only have one!