I just love love love blondies.  And they make everyone in my family happy.  Greg will eat them because they are not too chocolaty, Andy likes them because there is chocolate in them (although he is really developing a palate for other flavors :)), Sylvie who really likes it all (like me), Rob too enjoys a good blondie as long as it doesn’t have white chocolate or butterscotch in it and Alisa our au pair too.  She just loves the nuts in these.  I’ve tried many blondie recipes over the years, and I’ve often bought blondies to try when out and about but I’m usually disappointed.  But…I’m done searching.  I tried and found these sweet blondies in Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies book.  Forever done.  I hope you like them as much as we do.  And of course, yes, so yummy with vanilla ice cream!blondie-tray

Oh and btw – I often multiply this recipe by 4!  Yes, a lot I know…but they freeze really well.  I bake in my half sheet pan lined with parchment and save some for unexpected company, for charity or for gifts.  But the recipe below is for one 8×8 inch pan.

blondies (very slightly adapted from Cookies and Brownies by Alice Medrich):
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons dark rum (optional)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts or walnut pieces (divided)
3/4 – cup semisweet chocolate chips (more if you want)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment or foil so that it comes up all the sides of the pan.  That way, when cooked, you can pull the blondies from the pan – holding onto the foil/parchment – in one quick and easy effort.  Then smooth down the sides of the foil, and easily cut and serve.  If you don’t care about appearance, then just butter the bottom of the pan – and you can dig them out later.  Up to you.  (Look to pan prep in baking tips to see a photo of this pan prep with cranberry cake.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and remove from heat.  Add the brown sugar and mix well.  Add the egg, vanilla, rum (if using) and mix well.

Gently stir in the flour mixture and half of the walnuts and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared pan and then top with the rest of the walnuts (other half) and remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the nuts look toasted and golden and the edges have pulled away from the pan a bit.  Let cool.

Lift the edges of the parchment or foil and pull the blondies out and onto a cutting board.  Fold down the edges of the foil and cut as desired.  These are rich – I recommend cutting them in fairly small squares – but then try not to eat two!

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