Back in the day, nearly 30 years ago, when I was newly married, I was introduced to my first "blondies" (so-called because they are a light, non-chocolate version of brownies) in two different ways.
There was a bakery on the mezzanine level of the big Davison's Department Store about a block from my office downtown. The only thing I remember from that bakery is their "blond brownies" - they were big and wonderfully chewy in the center - a perfect mid-afternoon snack. (There was also a cookie store in the ground floor of my office building, so even though I had no time to spend in the kitchen, thanks to those two shops I was not starved for freshly-baked goodies)
Around the same time I learned of an old recipe in my husband's family called "Butterscotch Delights" (which I recently posted, here). Over the years when I had just a bit of time I'd whip up a batch of those bar cookies and they always make a hit. In fact that's part of of the charm of a good blondie recipe: nearly everyone loves to eat the final product!
This week's assigned recipe for the baking group Tuesdays With Dorie is Chewy, Chunky Blondies, chosen by Nicole of the blog Cookies on Friday. I was eager to bake this version, which is filled with lots of chips and nuts.
- Dorie's recipe (which you can find on Nicole's post, here) calls for light brown sugar and granulated sugar. I used dark brown sugar and palm sugar - to emphasize the butterscotch-y flavor.
- Although I forgot the vanilla (accidentally) I doubled the salt (on purpose) to wake up the flavors.
- My add-ins were: toasted chopped pecans, toasted sweetened coconut, chopped Heath bar, chocolate covered cocoa nibs, and 72% chocolate chips.
- I baked half a recipe in an 8x8 pan, which I lined with a buttered parchment sling so the blondies would release easily from the pan.
- The blondies stayed in my oven about 40 minutes. They were a bit moist in the center, but I knew they'd pull together as they cooled.
- Earlier this year I tried a different loaded blondie recipe, "Killer Blondies" from the kitchn, which I posted here. That recipe was more intensely flavored; it used dark brown sugar along with even darker muscovado sugar, and instant coffee dissolved in brandy. (It also had a topping which I found to be a bit too crumbly and quite sweet.)
These blondies were nice and chewy and were packed full with add-ins. Mine turned out to be quite chocolatey, from the generous quantity of chips, the chocolate in the Heath bar and in the chocolate-covered cocoa nibs that I'd used, and I found myself wishing I could taste more of the blondie and less of the chocolate. The coconut added a subtle, but nice, note. Overall, I prefer the "Killer Blondies" from the kitchn's recipe (minus the topping), but I liked these blondies very much.