We all know the glory that is a warm and gooey brownie: dense and fudgy in the middle, chewy on the edges. In fact, we’ve even mused on how meeting the yin to your yang is the secret to everlasting love.
But perhaps brownies are a bit too dark and brooding? What if, even at the risk of sounding superficial, you just really prefer blondies? Technically, a butterscotch brownie (brown sugar + butter = butterscotch = mmmm), blondies (especially ones sporting optional frills like pecans and chocolate chips) come across with all the depth of their brunette counterparts. It really just depends which one you’re, um, in the mood for.
Irresistibly chewy and tantalizingly buttery, this one from Greystone Bakery sets the bar (ha!) pretty high as far as blondies go. Its crackly, almost caramelized crust gives way to a tender center studded with dark chocolate chips. And since Greystone embraces all differences (seriously, founder Roshi Bernie Glass is a Zen master so committed to economic renewal and personal transformation that he hires regardless of social barrier, education, work history or criminal records), they make a world-class brownie too. Om.
And if you are a gentleman (or lady) who prefers gluten-free blondies? FreedGoodsCo’s deliver the exact browned butter flavor and moist texture of the gluten-full deal, but with a wholesome blend of garbanzo, sorghum and fava bean flours –plus shredded coconut! Is it fair to say that the (brunette) founder and head baker left her former law career to make all our (butterscotch and chocolate) dreams come true? Yes, it would be, especially because Stephanie Norton also donates five percent of profits to support infertility education and awareness. There’ll be a whole new generation of blonde and brown bar-lovers out there.
When the baking bug bites and you want an entire pan of blondies at your disposal (and a kitchen that smells so good you’ll want to eat the walls)? This recipe might convince you to go blonde – and stay blonde.
1-1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) salt
12 tablespoon (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (save the wrappers for greasing)
1-1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup Smoked Chocolate Chips
1 cup Spiced Candied Pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Prepare a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan by lining its bottom and two sides with foil and then using butter wrappers to grease foil.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a larger bowl, use whisk to combine the melted butter and brown sugar together until homogenous. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again.
- Switch to a rubber scraper to fold your dry mixture into your wet mixture. Resist overmixing.
- Fold in your chocolate and nuts and then tip the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing its surface with your scraper.
- Bake 20 to 24 minutes (erring on the side of under), pulling the pan when the blondies' tops are shiny, crackly and the color of expensive highlights.
- Set pan on a wire rack to cool before airlifting the foil from the pan and onto a cutting board.
- Cut into 2-inch squares, storing survivors in the fridge.
Total time: 30 minutes