Archive for the ‘Brownies’ Category

You’ve heard of Blondies right? They’re basically brownies, but the dough isn’t chocolately. It’s butterscotch instead due to the combination of brown sugar, butter, and vanilla! I just knew I wanted to make brownies this weekend, so I took to my many bookmarked recipes and decided on not brownies, but blondies since I figured they would knock out my craving without being quite as heavy as their dark chocolate cousins. After I had decided, Nick suggested I check in my new favorite book, Baking Illustrated (a very amazing gift provided by my very amazing boyfriend), to see if they had any suggestions on the preparation. I think my love of this cookbook really warrants a full and complete appreciation post, but let me just say it’s the best thing in the universe. The people at America’s Test Kitchen go through a million and twelve different scientific tests of their baked goods, from trying out different brands of flour to see which makes the most tender cookie, to which type of teaspoon is best. The cookbook is like pornography for bakers and I’ll leave it at that.

So I decided to use the Baking Illustrated recipe for Blondies because the faith I have in those folks is overwhelming. I adapted it a bit to suit my needs, using golden brown sugar instead of light brown because I prefer a more rich brown sugar taste (though the book does make a note that tasters found dark brown sugar to be too overpowering). The recipe called for white chocolate chips as well, but since we didn’t have any, I just doubled up on my semi-sweet. They came out amazing, nice and chewy with a sweet butterscotch flavor lying over the chocolate. The chopped pecans added a great texture element and really brought the whole thing together. Just a few hours after I made them, the pan was reduced to just two small pieces! I love when my baked goods get gobbled up so fast.

The two big keys to this recipe, according to the cookbook, are using melted butter and mixing by hand. Creaming the butter with the sugar and using a mixer incorporates too much air into the batter and won’t yield the chewy, dense texture that still has lots of flavor.

Blondies: Adapted from Baking Illustrated

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F with the rack in the middle position.
  2. Prepare your baking pan. Note: I used a 13×9 pan, as per the book’s instructions, but I found the batter didn’t quite spread to the edges. In the end, the blondies rose enough so that the ends weren’t too crusty or unappealing, but if you really want a thick and chewy morsel, you could probably use an 8×8 brownie pan. Line the pan using two pieces of aluminum foil placed perpendicular over each other so some foil extends out of the pan. This extra foil will serve as handles, make extraction from the pan very easy! Spray the foil with non-stick spray.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. Whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl until combined. This basically smells like heaven, just so you know.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the brown sugar mixture until just combined. Do not overmix!
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.
  8. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with the rubber spatula.
  9. Bake for about 22-25 minutes (Mine took about 28 minutes) until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch.  The edges will also be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  10. Cool completely in the pan, then, using the foil handles, lift the blondies from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into pieces of whatever size you prefer and serve for happy eating!