Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blondies Have So Much Fun!

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Its afternoon and the sweet tooth is acting up. My husband has it too. So how do we satisfy the cravings? Blondies, of course!

I'm going to throw out yet another recipe from the 2005 America's Test Kitchen Live! cookbook because as you may have guessed, this is where I got the blondie recipe from. What we wanted: Bakers like blondies because they are so simple to prepare, but many recipes are pretty flavorless. Is there a way to make a great blondie that's still quick and easy?

What we learned: Use melted butter than creamed butter to create dense, chewy blondies. Light brown sugar (rather than dark brown sugar) and vanilla are the keys to creating a rich butterscotch flavor.

The verdict? Heaven. I used the cookbook's Blondie recipe (pages 297-288) as the base for my Milk Chocolate Caramel Blondies and you can use pretty much any type of chocolate chip, flavored morsels and/or chopped nuts. Here's my adapted recipe for Milk Chocolate Caramel Blondies:

1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate caramel morsels (Nestle brand)
1 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Adjust an oveen rach to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with two pieces of foil. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Whist the melted butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber sptula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the morsels and the nuts and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing thetop with a rubber spatula.

4. Bake until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch., 22 to 25 minutes. Place the pan on a rack and cool completely. Cut into bars.

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