Saturday, February 27, 2010

Butterscotch Blondies

If I start looking a little thick around the middle, I'm going to blame it on our new obsession with butterscotch blondies.  I made them three times within the space of a week.  Yeah, yikes. Although the recipe calls for different kinds of chocolate and white chips and toasted pecans, I usually ignore all that and just make them with chocolate chips.  A few weeks ago I made half with chocolate chips and half with butterscotch chips.  I was very surprised when Ryan and I both voted overwhelmingly in favor of the butterscotch.  As he put it, it keeps them blond.  Whatever it is, we love them.  Ryan usually leaves the house with 1/4 or 1/3 of the pan left and comes home to an empty pan and says, "What happened?"  Well, nothing but me at home all day with these staring me in the face.  Luckily one night there were still some left and after going through 1/4 of the pan himself he said, "Wow, these are addicting."  Anyhow, it's also fabulous because it's a really simple recipe with even less ingredients than brownies. Here's the blondie recipe as written from The New Best Recipe from Cooks Illustrated, and I'll mention some of my adjustments after.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 oz) light brown sugar
 2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped coarse

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the semisweet and white chocolate chips and the nuts and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until the top is shiny and cracked and feels firm to the touch, 22-25 minutes.

I don't feel like it's all that big for a 9x13 pan, so I usually do 1 1/2 times the recipe (so like 2 1/4 cups flour...) and then it usually needs a bit longer in the oven, so I check it at the right time, then a few more minutes, then a couple more - we like them gooey, not cake-like, so as soon as the center looks set and like it's not jiggling anymore I take them out and they sort of fall a bit into a lovely golden, gooey, buttery yumminess.  And I swap out all the other chips and nuts and just use butterscotch chips. Usually just a cup or so.  I guess I could try more.  I have tried playing with the temperature since it's larger than the usual recipe - like turning it down to 325 and cooking it a little longer, sometimes I remember and turn it down half way through - maybe someone who understands the science of baking  better could figure it out, but it also seems to work fine at 350. Once I did put some foil over the top the last couple minutes when I didn't want it to get any more brown.  Anyway, if you need a quick treat to take somewhere, or you have a fondness for butterscotch (even if you don't) give 'em a try! It's my old standby.


Jenny said...

They were delicious. So glad to have the recipe. I am this way with brownies. When the kids are all screaming at me I go in the corner and cut brownie chunks. Makes me happy! Can't wait to try these!

Tennille said...

Blondies are some of my favorites, too. We usually do them with half chocolate and half butterscotch. Mmm, butterscotch chips. Last time I made them, I got distracted by something (no doubt someone was yelling in my house) and couldn't remember if I had put in the salt. So I put some in. Yep, they had double the salt, and it was SO sad.

Jen I said...

Ah, Jenny. I'm laughing so hard at you smiling to yourself in your own little world with your brownies as shrieking children and breaking dishes go on in the background around you. I need to describe it that way to Ryan. You hit the nail on the head with that one.

Oooh, salt problems. That is a dilemma, because no salt sucks, but double salt is pretty inedible I guess.

Anonymous said...

I think I will go make some right now and take them to my college age grandchildren and boy grandsons -- for my birthday -- a gift from me. I will toast the pecans and use chocolate chips. I have heard it said that every nut is made much better and tastier by light toasting, brings the flavors out. I could use walnuts and toast them, as well, but my daughter Jen does not like walnuts! See you Tuesday.
Sunday birthday dinner is at Shauna's today.


SuburbiaMom said...

You had me at toasted pecans. Thanks for the recipe!!

AnnaMarie Ferrell said...

No way. I just won't do it. This sounds just like my kind of treat...a great way to undermine any exercise I manage to squeeze in. :)

Rachel said...

Tried the recipe! Great! Thanks, Jen!