Tuesday, April 17, 2012

blondies, redeemed

Brownie vs. Blondie.

For me, this debate has always verged on absurdity; a match-up so asymmetrical, its only value exists in affirming the brownie's obvious superiority.

I won't call these blondies an exception to that rule, but I will say that they transcend their genre, and approach cookie bar perfection. (Apparently cookie bar perfection = butter + brown sugar + booze + chocolate.) A very large hat-tip to Mollie, who served these to us at a birthday party, thereby redeeming the blondie—and inspiring me to make my own batch.

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Blondies
Adapted from Mark Bittman via Smitten Kitchen

I like these best fresh from the freezer, or warm over ice cream. The bourbon is optional but highly recommended. (If you decide to abstain, reduce the flour to one cup.) I've considered experimenting with mashed banana (1/2 cup folded in with chocolate chips), butterscotch chips or shredded coconut, but it would be hard to improve on this version.

8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 to 1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 to 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup bourbon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8×8 pan.

Whisk together the flour and salt.

Combine melted butter with brown sugar; beat until smooth. Add the egg, beating well, then the vanilla and bourbon. Reduce speed to low; then add the flour mixture.

Using a spatula, stir in the toasted nuts and chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Cool on rack.

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