I’m sitting here trying to think of what to say about blondies, and the only thing going through my head is Call Me on infinite repeat. (Is it stuck in your head, too, now? You’re welcome.)
Wait, that helped a little. While my mental sound track is on “Pause” I should tell you that blondies are similar to brownies, but without the chocolate. This version is not nearly as sweet as you would suspect from the amount of sugar in it. You can do them completely plain, with no nuts or chips or topping of any kind, or add: dark chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch chips, caramel, walnuts, pecans. They’re a great blank canvas for you to add your own favorites.
Oh no, the song is fading in again …
1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup dark bittersweet chocolate chips (optional, not shown)
You’ll need two bowls for this, the first one large enough to hold everything with room left for mixing, the second one large enough for just the dry ingredients. Once you have everything together, preheat the oven to 375°.
Melt the butter. I used a glass measuring cup in the microwave. You can also use a small pan on the stovetop.
Put the brown sugar into the larger bowl and add the melted butter.
Mix thoroughly until there are no lumps.
Instead of getting a mixer dirty — or if you don’t have one — you can make do with a whisk, as long as it has a round handle. Check out this video for how. (If you can’t see the video in your email, come see it on the blog.
Set that bowl aside to cool to room temperature.
In the second bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda and whisk to combine.
Don’t try to whisk dry ingredients the same way you did the wet ones or it will go everywhere. The whisk should be going down along the inside of the bowl and come up out of the middle. Like this. (Again, if you can’t see the video in your email, come see it on the blog.)
Once the sugar / butter mixture is cooled to room temperature, add the eggs and vanilla and stir.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet a little bit at a time, stirring after each scoop until it is well combined. When it’s all added you should have a thick batter.
Not greasing the pan
Usually with blondies (and brownies) you flour a pan and pray that everything comes out without breaking up too much. Praying is fine, we can all use all the help we can get. But in this case there’s something more direct you can do to help yourself: Line the 9 x 13 dish with parchment paper.
Yes, this is actually wax paper. Parchment is better but this works, too. The big difference is that the wax paper will smoke a bit as it cooks. It’s disconcerting at first, but I have a couple of friends who have done this for years and it’s never caused any problems.
You might wonder about the wax melting and getting into the food. If you’ve ever covered leftovers with wax paper to reheat in the microwave, you’ve already had this happen. And if you’ve ever bitten into a nice shiny apple from the grocery store without scrubbing it first, you’ve eaten the same food grade wax as what’s on the paper. (Yes, grocery stores wax their fruit. You didn’t think cucumbers were that shiny in nature, did you?)
If you prefer, go ahead with the butter and flour routine.
So anyway … scoop the batter into the lined dish. It will be too thick to pour. You’ll have to manually spread it out to fill the dish evenly.
Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Now is where you see the magic of the paper liner. Place a cooling rack upside-down on top of the baking dish and flip it over.
Then all you have to do is peel the paper off and let it cool.
When it has cooled for about 10 minutes, place a cutting board on top of the blondie and flip the whole thing over again.
As a bonus, you’ll have lines from the cooling rack that make it really easy to cut even pieces.
Serve by itself or, like my wife had it at a restaurant recently, topped with ice cream and caramel sauce. Or pretty much anything you want to top it with.
And that’s it.