Saturday, January 22, 2011

Best Blondies Ever, for National Blond Brownie Day

A while back, I perused a list of food-related "holidays" and put some of them on my calendar. I don't always get a chance to bake the honored food on the right day, but blondies, especially these, are so easy I managed to fit them in.

I haven't always been a fan of blondies. I've written before that I think they're a pale wannabe to their wildly popular sibling, the brownie. It took a couple of blondie recipes made with brown butter to make me change my mind. This recipe (which I found on Smitten Kitchen) doesn't call for browned butter, but it has the same deep caramel notes I like in the brown butter blondies I've tried. It's a one bowl recipe and the list of possible mix-ins is practically endless. I made them with milk chocolate and white chocolate chips because I had supplies of both that I wanted to use up, but they would be fantastic with my favorite, chopped up Skor bars and walnuts.

I doubled the recipe and baked them in a 13 x 9 pan. They're basically butter with enough other stuff thrown in to hold them together.

Blondies - adapted from Deb of Smitten Kitchen, who found them in How to Cook Everything
Printer friendly recipe
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup/230 grams brown sugar (I used half light, half dark)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup/140 grams all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 pan with a parchment paper or heavy-duty foil sling, covering all four sides of the pan. If using foil, butter the foil.

Stir the flour and salt together in a small bowl.
Mix melted butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Beat in the egg and then the vanilla.
Stir in the flour and salt mixture. Mix in any additions (below). Don't over mix, but you don't want pockets of dry flour.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes (if you double the recipe, they'll need about 30 minutes), or until set in the middle. You don't want them to be gooey in the center, but don't think they'll test done. Cool on rack before lifting the parchment or foil from the pan, peeling it off the blondies and cutting them into tiny squares. Makes 16 blondies, or 32 teeny tiny ones.

For additions, use one or a combination of:
1/2 to 1 cup chopped Skor bars, or half Skor bars and half chopped nuts
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, toasting them first for even better flavor
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup lightly toasted coconut with 1/2 cup chopped toasted macadamias
2 tablespoons of espresso powder with the vanilla, with or without nuts
1/2 cup Nutella
Stir 1/2 cup dried fruit, especially dried cherries, into the prepared batter
Top with a vanilla butter cream or chocolate peanut butter cream frosting (I can't imagine these with frosting unless you're already at the emergency room and are trying to bring on the heart attack)


Peggy said...

Interestingly enough, I am the opposite of you and I love blond brownies way more than the chocolate ones, although I never turn one of those down either. I am about to make the Chocolate with Francois nut cake. I hope it turns out well. Can't wait to see yours.

Mary said...

Yum. Skor bars are one of my favorite things too...looks good. Happy Blondie day to you...

Tracey said...

I'll confess to not being a huge blondie fan, but these do sound good. I think I just need to find the right recipe! I can never keep track of the food related holidays, kudos to you for being on top of things :)