Thursday, January 04, 2018

Here's to Mixed Up Blondies

Over the years I've tried a number of different combinations when I bake blondies, the brownie like bar cookie that has butterscotch instead of chocolate as the dominate flavor. I've done Big Blondes, Irish Blondes, Dumpy Blondes and California Blondes. This time I decided to go with Mixed-up Blondes. Mixed-up because I combined the basic blondie recipe with some of the aspects of the Dumpy Blondes, particular the sweet-salty combo you get by adding in potato chips and pretzels, with the Irish wholemeal flour that I used for the Irish Blondes, the fruit I added made them almost like California Blondes.  I added a few macadamia nuts, but not very many since I was almost out of them, some pecans, some dried cranberries, toasted coconut, and, of course, chocolate chips. At the end I added about 2 tablespoons golden raisins, to. Truly a mixed-up bowl of add-ins.

The resulting cookie is moist, sweet, and has some salty elements, some fruity elements and some nutty elements. I'll be taking them to a party tomorrow to honor a friend, Jean Anderson, who died last year. We're celebrating her birthday and I know she would have enjoyed these cookies.

Mixed-up Blondes
A variation of a recipe by Jill O’Connor in Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey, Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth.

1 cup (2 sticks) non-dairy margarine
3 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup Irish wholemeal flour (or whole-wheat flour)

¾ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup sweetened toasted coconut
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup pretzel pieces (I used small ones and broke them up)
1/2 cup sea salt potato chips, lightly crushed
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons golden raisins

Use cooking spray to lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter and sugar are blended and completely melted and starting to bubble gently. Remove the pan from heat and let the mixture cool slightly. Mixture should be room temperature before you proceed.

Preheat to 350 degrees F. Position oven rack in the middle of the oven.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and salt. Slowly whisk the cooled butter and sugar mixture into the eggs just until combined. Whisk in the flours and baking powder to form a loose batter. (Make sure the batter is cool before stirring in the remaining ingredients, otherwise the chocolate will start to melt before the bars are baked.)

Stir the nuts, coconut, dried cranberries, pretzel pieces, potato chip pieces, chocolate chips and golden raisins into the cooled batter. (I usually mix together all the Add-ins in a bowl before adding to the prevents a clump of one ingredient here, another ingredient get a better distribution by mixing before adding.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake until the top is shiny and slightly crackled and feels firm to the touch, 30 – 35 minutes. A wooden skewer inserting into the batter should come out with moist crumbs clinging to it. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature, then turn out onto a board and cut into bars and serve.
Makes 15 large or 30 small bars.

1 comment :

  1. I love the idea of adding pretzels and potato chips. Because I'm with you salt and sweet are an excellent combination.

    What a wonderful way to honour your friend!