30, Mar 2009

I have been craving brownies all week, but since E is not eating chocolate at the moment we decided to try making blondies. First question? Just what the hell is a blondie anyway? Obviously, it’s like a brownie but without chocolate, but what stands in for the chocolate, in terms of flavor and texture? The answer, it turns out, is butterscotch. And what, really, is butterscotch? brown sugar and butter. And so, this very easy recipe. It’s really almost identical to my usual brownie recipe, except without chocolate and brown sugar instead of white. Unfortunately, mine didn’t come out looking like those pictures (since I didn’t double the recipe and bake them in a non-double pan, so mine weren’t as thick and gooey). I also added toasted pecans because who doesn’t like toasted pecans, and, since it’s us we’re talking about, some sea salt. They were pretty good out of the oven but the next morning (what, blondies aren’t a breakfast food?) the butterscotch flavor really came through.

8 tbsp butter, melted
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 c flour
1 c pecans

Toast the pecans for about 10 minutes (shake them up a couple of times) in an oven at 350, then chop coarsely. Melt the butter in a large bowl then mix in the sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla, then the flour gradually. Add in the pecans, pour in a buttered 8×8 pan and bake 20 minutes.
Excellent! I’d still like them to be a bit crumbier and fudgier. The recipe called for 20-25 min baking, and they were already done at 20. If I did the same recipe again, I’d probably pull them at 18 min or so for the fudgey underbaked middle I like so much. However, I’ll probably do as suggested and double the recipe in a 13×9 pan to get them thicker. The toasted pecans were very good. The salt we used might have been a little too fine — next time I’ll add some coarser sea salt, or maybe sprinkle it on top. Once E starts eating chocolate again, chips are an obvious addition. Or maybe some kind of blondie/brownie hybrid? This recipe also sounds good.. fairly similar, except for the baking powder and coconut. Finally, cook’s illustrated has a new chocolate chip cookie recipe out that suggests not just melting the butter but actually browning it, for a nuttier flavor; that might be good here too.