We were at the Power Plant Mall last night to watch The Green Hornet (lousy movie as it turned out) and we passed by Cooks Exchange for baking supplies — some shelled pistachio (for an ice cream project), heart-shaped mini tart pans (for some Valentine’s Day desserts that I have in mind), souffle dishes (yes, I’m going to try and make some souffles at the request of my younger daughter, Alex) and, at Sam’s request, white chocolate. We got home well after midnight, Sam wanted me to bake something with white chocolate but I told her it was late and promised that I’d make blondies in the morning. She’s still asleep as I compose this entry (she has no classes on Mondays) but the blondies are done.
What are blondies? Think brownies but without chocolate and, ergo, lighter in color. The dominant flavor of blondies comes from brown sugar. Doesn’t that make blondies the same as butterscotch brownies? Yes, actually, as “butterscotch” is defined (by my iMac’s dictionary) as a flavor created by combining melted butter with sugar. I made these blondies by tweaking my butterscotch brownie recipe. I used less brown sugar but added chopped white chocolate to achieve the same level of sweetness and for added texture.
Most recipes call for softened butter and white sugar; this one starts with melted butter and brown sugar
The pecans are dry-toasted in a pan to coax out the flavorful oil then chopped.
The white chocolate can be morsels or you can chop the kind that comes in blocks.
The rest is pretty much out-of-the-box. Add the flour to the sugar and butter…
Add the eggs and mix.
Fold in the pecans and white chocolate…
Spread on a baking pan, put in the oven and bake.
Cool the blondies slightly before cutting.
And it’s time to enjoy them.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Melt the butter. Do not allow the fat to separate from the cream. Just heat long enough to liquefy. Add the brown sugar and mix well. Cool the mixture.
On the stove top, heat a pan. No oil. Add the pecans and cook, tossing often, until fragrant and lightly browned. Roughly chop and measure half a cup.
To the cooled butter-brown sugar mixture, add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well until smooth. The mixture will be runny.
Add the flour mixture. Mix until smooth. The batter will be heavy.
Add the nuts and white chocolate. Using a spatula, fold in the nuts and white chocolate until evenly distributed.
Line a 7" x 11" baking pan with non-stick paper. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread so that the thickness is uniform all over.
Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 350F oven.
Take the pan out of the oven, place on a rack and cool for about 30 minutes or until barely warm.
Run a knife around the pan. Invert the uncut blondies onto a plate. Re-invert onto a cutting board. Cut into squares. Or rectangles, if you prefer.
Serve your blondies with coffee or tea.
To store, place the blondies in layers in a container, the layers separated with non-stick paper. Cover tightly and keep in the fridge (for a few days) or freezer (for a couple of weeks).