If you are not yet familiar with that chewy, caramel wonder bar of a cookie known as a Blondie, you are in for a WOW taste experience. I can’t imagine how you missed it, however, considering it’s preeminence on the web. To see what I mean, check out the amazing collection of Blondies (with stunning photos) at TasteSpotting, FoodGawker, and DessertStalking. Holy cow!
After conducting a fair amount of research on the Blondie, I debated whether I should add my own simple recipe to the treasure trove. After all, there are already so many tempting renditions from which to choose. But I decided to go ahead based partly on the size of the pan specified in most of the other recipes I surveyed.
If you use the typically specified 9- by 13-inch baking pan for this amount of batter, your Blondies will be a mere ½- to ¾-inch in height. That just doesn’t seem right for The Divine Miss B. I much prefer my Blondies to be 1- to 1½-inches in height. After all, this is not a cookie for dainty consumption. It’s meant to be blowsy, carefree, and indulgent, rather than refined, elegant, or dainty.
Another way in which my recipe differs from most of those I surveyed is that it uses only brown sugar. Why hold back on that fabulous caramel flavor? Bring it on I say. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would use a mixer for these cookies when they turn out perfectly with a few turns of a big spatula.
In fact, if you have a young wannabe baker in the house who is ready for her first baking lesson, this cookie is the perfect place to begin. Except for melting the butter (which is easily done in the microwave), the rest of the prep involves only a bowl and a big spatula. Child’s play. And chewy, gooey, lick smacking results are practically guaranteed. No one can resist a big beautiful Blondie!
Note For a humorous Battle of the Blondies, be sure to jump over to Q’s Eats to see how Smitten Kitchen’s Blondies and Martha Stewart’s Blondies fared against one another. I’m not going to take sides, as I haven’t tasted either contestant’s version, but I will say that baking powder is an important ingredient in my Blondies, and that both Deb and Martha’s versions use too large a pan in proportion to the amount of batter. I do agree, however, that a tall, very cold glass of milk is the perfect accompaniment to this much loved bar cookie.
Blondies are the perfect bar cookie for office treats, picnics, or anytime you want a portable dessert with plenty of WOW flavor appeal. Add chewy to the mix, and no one can resist.
This recipe is a snap to remember, much like the Blondie itself. Just add 2 of everything but the salt: 2 sticks of butter, 2 cups of brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 cups of flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder.
I have seen many Blondie recipes that specify a 9- by 13-inch baking pan for this amount of batter. That will make a very thin Blondie, which is NOT what I’m after here. This Blondie is big, bold, and extra chewy. An altogether SWEET experience.
Note I prefer an 8- by 8-inch baking pan, but if you want a somewhat thinner Blondie, use a 9- by 9-in baking pan.
vegetable oil spray or unsalted butter, to coat the pan
1 tablespoon all purpose flour, to coat the pan
1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted browned butter
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
- Line an 8- by 8-inch (8-cup capacity) or 9- by 9-inch (10-cup capacity) metal baking pan with two crisscrossing strips of foil, shiny side down. Coat the foil lightly with vegetable spray or softened butter and sprinkle on the flour. Tap the pan from side to side to evenly coat with flour and then tap out any excess. Reserve.
- In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, melt the butter in the microwave. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the brown sugar.
- Cool the mixture until just warm but not hot. Stir in the beaten eggs and vanilla.
- Over the top of the batter, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Combine well.
- Spread batter evenly into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake at 350? for about 35 minutes, until the top of the cookies is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist, but not gooey crumbs. With these cookies, it is better to err on the side of under done than over done.
- Cool on a wire rack, and then lift the Blondies out of the pan using the edges of the foil.
- Cut with a serrated knife into 2- by 2-inch squares.
- Store airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Makes sixteen 2-inch square bar cookies.
Basically, you can add 1-2 cups of almost anything to your Blondies to jazz them up. Think chopped peanut butter cups, chopped toffee, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or any chopped nut. Or ½ cup creamy peanut butter or almond butter. Or ½ cup of mashed fruit or vegetable, such as banana, cooked pumpkin, cooked sweet potato. Or 1-2 cups whole berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries. Or some combination of the above. You can also add spices, such as cinnamon, allspice, and cloves to the basic batter.
Here are a few of my favorite variations:
Caramel Walnut Blondies
2-3 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Follow basic directions, adding walnuts to the finished batter.
Caramel Coconut Blondies
2 cups shredded coconut
- Follow basic directions, adding coconut to the finished batter.
Peanut Butter Caramel Blondies
This version is supreme goodness. You get the chewy caramel cookie with dollops of creamy peanut butter caramel throughout. The method specified below assures even distribution of the Peanut Butter Caramel.
2-3 ounces Peanut Butter Caramel, 16-20, 1½ teaspoon dollops, frozen (recipe coming soon)
- Follow basic directions, but spread only half the batter in the pan.
- Top the batter with 16-20, 1½ teaspoon size dollops of frozen Peanut Butter Caramel. (See photos above.)
- Spread the rest of the batter over the top of the dollops, and smooth with an offset spatula. (See photos above.)
- Let rest 15 minutes before baking as directed in the basic recipe.
More Blondie and Brownie Recipes from LunaCafe
- Chewy Gooey Congo Bars (Blondies on Steroids)
- Burnt Caramel & Lemon Chevre Brownies
- OtherWorldly Silky Fudgy Brownies
I Love Hearing from You!
Let’s talk. Include your blog URL and CommentLuv will automatically link back to your most recent blog post. Happy baking! …Susan
Copyright 2012 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.