Last week I was recruited at the last minute to make something for our office January birthday celebration. I decided on blondies because I already had all the ingredients and the recipe required minimal effort.
As I pulled the tray of blondies out of the oven, Nate hovered over my shoulder and asked when he could eat one. He looked visibly saddened when told him he couldn’t have any because I was bringing them all to the office, and he turned away, muttering something about how lucky the people are with whom I work. Rarely does Nate express any emotion, one way or the other, about a dessert, so I knew I had to make another batch.
This time I told him he could take the blondies to work (which sounds vaguely suggestive and dirty…), and he was like “Why can’t we just leave them here and I can eat them all?” Right. That would be because then I would eat them too and I usually only bake something when I know I can give it away. I learned long ago that I have no self-control when it comes to desserts, so it’s better to just avoid them all-together.
I included white chocolate in the first batch of blondies, but not in the second. It turns out real white chocolate is absurdly difficult to come by (not to mention expensive), but if you can add it in then you should. These blondies are soft, yet crunchy and sweet, but not toothache-inducing. On more than one occasion I spotted Nate in the kitchen, blondie in one hand, glass of milk in the other. And that’s the highest praise I can give any dessert.
(Adapted from Baking Illustrated)
I would bump the total amount of chips to one and a half cups, but that’s just me. I also used dark brown sugar without any detrimental effects.
|1||cup pecans or walnuts (4 ounces)|
|1.5||cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)|
|1||teaspoon baking powder|
|1/2||teaspoon table salt|
|12||tablespoons unsalted butter ( 1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled|
|1.5||cups packed light brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)|
|2||large eggs , lightly beaten|
|4||teaspoons vanilla extract|
|6||ounces white chocolate chips (1 cup) or chopped bar, or 3 ounces each white chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips|
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on large rimmed baking sheet and bake until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer nuts to cutting board to cool; chop coarsely and set aside. Spray a13 by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.
Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in medium bowl until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in chocolate and nuts and turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.
Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes; do not overbake. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan by lifting foil overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.