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003I felt after the lean Heathen Gypsy Soup, you needed something to snarf down that  would put some staying power into that snow shovel.  So here’s the second posting for today.  Enjoy these.

Don’t you just love making bar cookies?  They are delicious and usually they go together so easily that you can make them before you go to work.  Blondies are one of the best bar cookies.  They are a cross between brownies and chocolate-chip-type cookie batter.  They are dense, sweet, chewy, moist and rich…they are decadent and you simply cannot eat just one.  Remember…life is short.  Have the second blondie….The version you’re looking at are the Peanut Butter Cup Blondie.  I added peanut butter to the batter and used both chocolate chips and a mixture of peanut butter/chocolate chips. You can purchase them mixed now, but I added some extra bittersweet chocolate chips, as these bars are sweet and really…I ask you…is it possible to have too much chocolate?  I think NOT!

Blondie Bars and Variations

  • Servings: 12-48
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

These bars are soft, slightly chewy, and buttery.  They’re very moist and just melt in your mouth.  They are the perfect base.  For an 8 X 8-inch pan, halve the recipe, but why make less?

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (or margarine), melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups brown sugar (or 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar)*
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Grease and flour a foil-lined 9 X 13-inch pan; set aside.

In a bowl, combine the slightly cooled melted butter (cool slightly or you’ll scramble the egg!…not cool!), beaten eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Stir until well combined.  Combine the flour and baking powder, if using; add a large pinch of salt, too.  Add to the wet ingredients; stir just until combined.  Pour into a 9 X 13-inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, checking after 20 minutes.  These will not look done, but they are!  Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Variations—

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

  • 1 cup peanut butter, added with the eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (or 1/2 peanut butter/1/2 chocolate chips), add with the flour
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts (optional), sprinkled over the unbaked bars

Cranberry-Walnut Blondies

1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup white chocolate chips
Add the above ingredients with the flour; continue with the recipe.

Heavenly Chocolate-Espresso Blondies

  • Use the 1 1/4 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar combo
  • 1/4 cup espresso, cooled slightly (add to the egg mixture)
  • Decrease flour to 1 1/2 cups; add
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 2-3 cups cubed Snickers, Milky Way, OR Mini Rolo, Reeses, Hershey Kisses, etc.
  • 1 can condensed milk

Mix as indicated above, but with the following changes:  set aside 1 1/3 cups of batter.  After spreading the batter in the pan, sprinkle the chopped candy bars evenly over the batter.  Drop dollops of the reserved batter evenly over the mixture.  Pour the can of condensed milk over and bake for 25-30 minutes (check after 25 minutes).  When done, cool for 1 hour at room temperature; chill for 2 hours or overnight, before cutting…this is an absolute!

Blondie Bars and Variations Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015.  All rights reserved.

As you might imagine there are as many variations as you can think of ingredients. I’ve made some of the following variations–added grated orange zest and use black and white chocolate chips, or broken up Oreo cookies, or bittersweet chocolate chips and banana chips, or bittersweet chocolate chips, dry roasted peanuts and mini-caramels (think Snickers bars!), etc.  You get the point.  I usually try to keep the additions to about 2-3 cups.  Also, I usually use margarine to make these.  There are so many flavors happening here, I don’t note a flavor advantage to using butter, but that’s your choice.  They do freeze beautifully, as well.  And in the interest of open and honest discourse, I’ve been known to eat them directly from the freezer…think frozen candy bar…yeah!

You may want to vary the baking time.  These are baked about 3-4 minutes longer than usual.  I was taking these to work and they carry and cut better when they are cooked just a smidge longer, because I was going to cut them on the warmer side.

When I find some cocoa nibs, I’m going to toss some of those in.  Also, I’ve added coarsely ground coffee beans to the mix.  I’m not certain how I feel about them.  I really liked the coffee-ness of them, but some people didn’t like the grittiness of the ground coffee; personally I rather liked that aspect.  Like everything else, it’s a matter of personal taste.    I’m toying with adding broken pretzel bits; that sweet-salty thing.  Feel free to substitute 3-4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa for an equal amount of flour; more chocolate, really…how bad could that be?…I’ll keep you posted.

007For my gluten-free friends, I see no reason why you wouldn’t be able to substitute gluten-free flour for regular.  If you do so, let us know how it worked, please.

Once again, let me just remind everyone to please feel free to use the “Comment” area to ask questions, as well as make comments.  If you’re cooking something that’s totally different from the post, and have a question, PLEASE do not hesitate to ask.  It’s all part of the learning curve for all of us…and there truly are no stupid questions, because if you are wondering about something, I can guarantee you someone else also needs that info.  So, make these Blondies, use your wonderfully, wild imaginations and let us know what you did and how you liked it.