Well, you could have blown me over with a feather when I read that brownies and blondies were no recent invention. Nope, apparently they’ve been part of the American landscape since, believe it or not, the late 1800s.
Which is weird, as the only ‘brownies’ I’d ever known about growing up, was the Brownies club for girls (of which I was a member, but not for long given my propensity for naughtiness!). Nope, the brownie we’ve all come to obsess over, is a relative late-comer to New Zealand shores. Now, it can be found in virtually every cafe.
Blondies, on the other hand, aren’t that common. Which is such a shame. While I can understand the fascination for deep, dark, fudgy chocolate brownies, I’m surprised that more people haven’t cottoned on to their blond cousins, with their flavours of vanilla and butterscotch.
If, like me, you’ve never tried a blondie (okay, there may not be many of you), you’ll love this recipe from Landolakes.com. The butter is browned to add a delicious nutty flavour, and the finished slice is studded with white chocolate chips (or ‘drops’ as they’re called in New Zealand), and pecan nuts. Actually, I didn’t add the pecans as I’m not fussed on them, though I reckon next time around I’ll add in some macadamia nuts.
I served the blondies as a dessert with a browned butter ice cream – a delicious, not overly sweet, ice cream which cut through the richness of the blondies perfectly. Oh, and I sprinkled some crushed almond praline over top for some crunch. A perfect dessert if I do say so myself. Enjoy!
- 170g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used organic flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white baking chips (I used 2/3rds cup)
- Optional: 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or macadamias, toasted
- Melt butter in heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, watching closely, 5 minutes or until butter foams and turns deep golden brown. Immediately remove from heat; pour into bowl. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line 13x9-inch (I used an 8 inch square pan to make a higher slice) baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Spray bottom of foil-lined pan with no-stick cooking spray; set aside.
- Add brown sugar, egg and vanilla to cooled browned butter; mix well. Add flour, baking powder and salt; stir just until combined. Stir in pecans (if using) and white baking chips. Spread into prepared pan.
- Bake for about 20 minutes* or until golden brown around edges and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Lift blondies from pan, using foil ends. Cut into squares and serve cold (or warmed slightly in the microwave), with whipped cream or ice cream.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting