Blondies are the blank canvases of the bar cookie world. They have a slightly dense, chewy texture, but they are relatively plain and get most of their flavor from the mix-ins that go into the basic batter, such as chocolate chips, nuts, and dried fruits. Fresh fruit isn’t typically an ingredient that you’ll find in a batch of blondies, but when my kitchen is bursting with fresh fruit during the summer, I tend to see any blank canvas as a good place to use some up and that is exactly how I decided to experiment with Blackberry Blondies.
These blondies are studded with lots of fresh, juicy blackberries and are almost like a portable version of blackberry cobbler. I was generous with the blackberries, but the blondie batter still gives the bar cookies a nice chewiness, in addition to lending butter, almond and vanilla notes to the sweet berries.
Around here, blackberries can vary a lot in size. I’ll get a carton of them that has some blackberries the size of blueberries and others that are nearly as big as golf balls. The huge berries are the exception, rather than the rule, but you will want to stick with small to average size berries for this recipe and save the big blackberries for baking an actual cobbler or simply eating out of hand.
The blondies will take a little longer to bake than some blondie recipes, since the berries give off some extra moisture in the oven. If you find that your bars aren’t golden at the end of the baking time, just give the bars a few extra minutes to ensure that the batter is cooked all the way through. The size of your berries could definitely impact the baking time by several minutes. The bars will have a slightly crisp crust on top, but you can also check the doneness by doing the toothpick test and checking to see that a toothpick inserted near the center of the pan comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached to it.
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (approx 12-oz) blackberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter and sugar until well-combined. Beat in salt, egg, vanilla and almond extracts until well combined.
Stir in flour and mix until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Gently fold in blackberries until they are evenly distributed.
Transfer dough to prepared baking dish and spread carefully into an even layer.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until bars are set and golden.
Cool completely in the pan before slicing.