BLONDIES – Locked & Loaded!

blondies2 textI’ve finally achieved my idea of the perfect blondie. (A blondie is a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie.) While there may not such a thing as a BAD blondie, there are definitely sub-par ones.

I was looking for a moist, chewy, chocolatey blondie with a salty crunch. Is that asking too much? NO!!! Tinkering around with a pretty good recipe, I decided to brown the butter rather than simply melt it, as directed. This added a deeper flavor.

I also found that removing them from the oven promptly at the 22 minute mark (cooking directions suggested 22-25 minutes) was key to a moist result. Even if you don’t think they’re done, fear not – they’ll continue to bake in the hot pan out of the oven.

A bonus feature of my Blondies is that they’re actually better the next day, once they’re firmed up a bit. I love recipes you can make ahead of time! (Don’t get me wrong – they’re DELICIOUS the same day! It’s just they’re still kind of soft and gooey….not exactly a bad thing, but a little messy for guests.

Finally, I added 1/2 cup of 60% cocao bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli was best) AND white chocolate chips, then topped with toasted pretzel bits for a salty crunch.

NOTE: For the flour and brown sugar I put measurements in both weight and cups. Weight is a far more accurate measurement, which is important in baking. So if you have a scale, use it.

BONNIE’S BLONDIES

  • 7 oz all-purpose flour (1 2/3 cups)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 T salted butter
  • 10.5 oz dark brown sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup walnuts (or pecans, cashews) – chopped & lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup 60% bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (I use Nestle’s)
  • 1/3 cup pretzel sticks, broken by hand into small pieces & lightly toasted (unless the bag is fresh)

NOTE: Take care when breaking the pretzels that you don’t knock off the salt.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat, swirling often. Keep cooking until butter darkens and becomes aromatic, but doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Let cool a few minutes.

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Mix the sugar into the melted butter. Stir well, smashing out any lumps.

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Beat the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Pour approximately half the eggs into sugar mixture and blend. When smooth, stir in the rest of the eggs.

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Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit.

Pour in the flour mixture, folding gently until most of the flour is incorporated.

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Add in the chips and nuts, blending just until flour disappears – over mixing toughens the Blondie.

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Pour into a greased and floured 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Spread batter to cover entire pan, smoothing top. The batter is very thick, so take care when spreading that you don’t scrap off the greased/floured coating – just gently push the top toward the edges.Sprinkle the pretzels on top, lightly pressing into the batter so they stick.

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Bake at 350º Fahrenheit for 22 minutes exactly.  Don’t worry if they don’t look quite done – they’ll continue to cook in the hot dish. Place on a wire rack to cool for, at least, 3 hours before slicing.

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