We had guests over during the Winter Olympics. I had no idea of their eating habits, but had planned many of the meals in advance. We rarely have desserts on a day-to-day basis, so when we do have guests, it’s a real treat – blondies were on the menu.
Blondies are one of those things I never heard of until I moved to the US. Brownies yes, but blondies no. Blondies are apparently like brownies, but without the chocolate – I say, what’s the fun in that?
Although blondies do bear some resemblance to brownies. With them both having high proportions of fat and sugar, they are also both dense and chewy. However, the predominant flavor of a blondie is from the dark muscuvado (brown) sugar.
These blondies are different, the addition of browned butter adds a completely new depth to them. The flavor is nutty, and almost like butterscotch. They are soooo good on their own, or, served slightly warm with a scoop of high-quality vanilla ice-cream.
I’ve used a loaf tin to make my batch of blondies, mainly because I only wanted 6 servings, not 10-12. Simply double the recipe to make a batch to fit a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) baking tin (pan).
BROWN BUTTER BLONDIES
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s – “Essentials of Baking”
115 g (¾ c and 1 t) plain (all-purpose) flour
½ t baking powder
¼ t salt
80 g (⅓ c and 1 t) unsalted butter, browned*
110 g (½ c) dark muscuvado (brown) sugar
65 g (¼ c and 1 T) turbinado or white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t vanilla
½ T lemon juice
* To brown the butter. On a low heat, in a small frying pan (skillet), gently heat the butter for about 6-8 minutes, or until light brown and fragrant. Be careful not to burn the butter. Once browned, sift (strain) the mixture into a clean bowl to remove the burnt solids that have settled at the bottom. Set aside and allow to cool.
1. Line a 11 ½ x 21 ½ cm (4 ½ x 8 ½ inch) loaf tin (pan) with parchment paper.
2. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F.
3. Sift together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, set aside.
4. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients – browned butter, sugars, egg, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth.
5. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry. Transfer to the prepared baking pan and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Transfer the tin (pan) to a wire rack to cool^ for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing.
6, Divide the blondie into 4 rectangles along the length, then slice each rectangle into a triangle, giving a total of 8 triangles. Serve on their own or with ice cream, enjoy!
^ The cooling period is important. If like me you want to slice immediately, you will be left with a squidgy mess that tastes uncooked. After waiting about 10-15 minutes, the sugar and butter mix hardens up and gives you the chewy texture you’re looking for.