Archive for: blondies
Butterscotch may conjure up images of hard, toffee-like candies, but the building blocks of butterscotch are just brown sugar, butter and vanilla and it is easy to infuse a butterscotch flavor into many different recipes by using these elements. These Butterscotch and Walnut Blondies are a perfect example. The blondies use a generous amount of brown sugar that melds well with the flavor of the butter in the blondie batter and delivers a rich and not-too-sweet butterscotch flavor to these satisfyingly chewy bar cookies.
The blondies are easy to make and only require a few ingredients, all of which you probably have in your pantry if you bake on a regular basis. The most important element of these brownies is the brown sugar, which is what really gives them their butterscotch flavor. Light brown or golden brown sugar is the best choice for this recipe, as dark brown sugar will give the brownies a stronger molasses note that will dominate the butterscotch. Like my basic brownie recipe, these don’t use any leavening. This ensures that they keep a chewy texture, a very tight crumb and don’t become cakey or dry when they’re in the oven.
My favorite part of these blondies is the contrast between the chewiness of the blondies themselves and the crispness of the walnuts. I use untoasted walnuts, which still have a nice crunch but seem to have a more pronounced buttery flavor to them than toasted walnuts. You could use other nuts in these, though the walnuts work so well that they’re bound to win you over even if you’re not a big walnut fan.
Blondies are one of my favorite bar cookies to make. They have all the flavor of a good, buttery chocolate chip cookie with the rich, tender texture of a brownie – with a bit less chocolate, of course. They’re very versatile cookies and you can mix almost anything into them. This is probably why I tend to get a little carried away when I bake a batch and start going through my cupboards looking for extra goodies to tuck in there – and why I have to restrain myself from throwing in the kitchen sink!
These are Chocolate Chip Blondies with Pistachios and Cherries. The dough is a basic blondie dough that I use as a base for many add ins. It has a similar ingredient list to chocolate chip cookie dough, but uses melted butter and does not use any leavening. Both of these things help to give the finished blondies that tender, chewy and slightly fudgy texture that you want to get in a blondie, as the texture is what sets them apart from other bar cookies.
I like pistachios and dried cherries in these partly because I like the flavor combination and partly because they’re a beautiful color combination. Feel free to substitute other fruits and nuts to suit your personal tastes or what you have in the kitchen. Pecans and dried cranberries would be a good match, as would almonds and dried blueberries. In fact, I might just have to bake another batch to try some out myself!
Snickerdoodles are a classic American cookie, a bake-sale staple. They’re essentially sugar cookies that have been rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking, which gives them a crisp and flavorful crust to contrast a moist, sweet interior. This recipe gives that classic a little twist by turning the cookies into a batch of blondies.
What makes these blondies as opposed to just cookies in bar form is the texture. Usually, snickerdoodles have cream of tartar and baking soda in them. There is no leavening in this recipe so, like brownies, the blondies have a slightly dense and chewy center to them. This makes them satisfyingly brownie-like in spite of their sugar cookie flavor. It also makes them very addictive because the contrast between the crisp crust and chewy center is very hard to pass up.
This recipe doesn’t make a big batch, and it is pretty easy to much your way through a pan full if you if you have a crowd of friends (or kids) over to help eat. Fortunately, the recipe doubles easily. That said, I still like it best when baked in a square pan because you end up with just the right amount of crispy edge and chewy center. The vanilla flavor also comes through in the finished cookie and stands up nicely against the cinnamon-heavy topping. Definitely a keeper, and as much as I like classic snickerdoodles, I think I just might go for a batch of these over the more traditional cookies next time!
As much as I like brownies, I would have to say that I always have a soft spot in my heart and a place in my kitchen for blondies. They tend to be more cookie-like and less chocolaty than brownies, but since they’re not defined by their cocoa content, there are even more ways to deviate from the standard and experiment with different flavors and ingredients in a batch of these bar cookies.
This particular batch of blondies get their flavor from maple syrup and coconut. It’s a pairing that you might not immediately come to mind when you think about either of the ingredients on their own, but they work together surprisngly well. Maple syrup is used as a sweetener for these blondies, along with some sugar, and gives the bars a rich, deep sweetness. It also helps keep the bars nice and moist. I would recommend using Grade B maple syrup, since it has a deeper and more distinct flavor than Grade A, but the lighter type will work fine, as well. The coconut supplies its own soft floral and nutty flavors to the bars, and really ensures that the bars keep a nice chew to them even if you end up storing them for a few days.
The finished blondies have a great texture, both moist and chewy, and a great flavor to them. At first, you can really taste the maple syrup, but as the blondies sit for a day or two, the coconut flavor steps up and shares the spotlight. For a simple bar cookie that takes only a few minutes to mix up, there is a lot of flavor here! I really like these plain, but they’re also good with chopped nuts or white chocolate mixed in, too.
I know that I just recently made something from Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours, but as I flipped through the book I bookmarked over a dozen recipes that I wanted to try, so here is another one.
This recipe appealed to me both because I like blondies and because there is so much good stuff packed into these. A blondie is supposed to be a slightly fudgy/chewy, non-chocolate version of a brownie. In most cases, the blondies turn out to just be slightly chewy cookie bars, which is exactly how these turned out. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but if you’re looking for a more brownie-like bar, this might not be the ideal recipe.
The batter is thick and doughlike – in part because of the fairly generous amount of flour and in part because there are chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, pecans (the original recipe called for walnuts) and shredded cocnut – and the only problem I had with the recipe was getting it into an even layer in the pan. I solved this little issue by lightly greasing my spatula and using it to flatten down the dough. I recommend keeping an eye on your oven temperature, or else the bars might turn out to be a touch crispy on the edges and dry in the center. Otherwise, however, they had a great flavor and a nice, chewy texture. These aren’t refined cookies to be eaten with tea, but ones to be dunked in a glass of milk when no one is watching.