Sunday, July 29, 2012

These Blondies Are No Joke

My sweet tooth is calling (I should probably have that thing pulled...); naturallly, it's time to raid the pantry and see what I can throw together.  So, I've decided to adapt my Brownie recipe for Blondies with dates and walnuts. Nom? Yes. Also, I've added a new feature to the right sidebar that allows readers to follow The Book Pantry by email. Don't be shy!

What You'll Need
Large mixing bowl                                                      Measuring cups
Butter knife                                                                 Measuring spoons
Small mixing bowl                                                      13 x 9" casserole dish
Whisk                                                                          Cooking spray
2 sticks butter                                                             1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs                                                                          1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup light brown sugar                                              1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cups flour                                                          1/2 cup chopped dates
2 tsp vanilla

Now Let's Make Blondies!
Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C).

Cut the 2 sticks of butter into chunks into the large mixing bowl.  Microwave, until butter is melted, but not so long that it begins to sizzle and pop.  If a few chunks are barely melted that's okay.

While your butter is melting, crack 4 eggs into the small mixing bowl, removing shell if necessary. I used a mix of medium and large eggs and saw no difference in size or amount of egg (was is the difference, anyway?). Using your whisk, beat the eggs until as much of the white as possible is blended.  Pour the beaten eggs into the butter and mix.

Measure 1 cup light brown sugar (dark brown will result in brunettes), packing it tightly into the measuring cup.  Add to the large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Make sure that the sugar is completely blended into the eggs/butter mixture. Brown sugar likes to stay clumped and you don't want any dry lumps in your Blondies (I mean, seriously, how gross does that sound).

Next, measure and add to the bowl 1 1/4 cups flour, 2 tsp vanilla (which I realized I didn't add to my brownies last time. Oops!), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder.  Mix the dry ingredients in, making certain to blend completely.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl routinely as you mix to avoid any dry pockets from forming. Do not overmix as this will result in a tougher texture.

Now that you've created your batter, it's time to add the goodies.  I've chosen a combination of walnuts and dates, but I'm sure you can get creative with it. Just make sure you add a total of 1 cup and you'll be fine with whatever combo you select. Measure and add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup chopped dates. Mix them into the batter until you've got a fairly even distribution.

Use your cooking spray and spray the bottoms and sides of the 13 x 9" casserole dish.  Pour the batter into the dish; don't forget to scrape the bowl as much as you can.  Spread the batter evenly throughout the dish. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes, until the top of the Blondies are golden and the edges are golden brown. An inserted knife or toothpick should come out clean.

Allow to cool completely (or as completely as the delicious smell allows you to). Cut the Blondies into squares and serve.


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