We all know blondies have more fun and I’m here to prove it to you.
Now, I like a good brownie now and again, but I will tell you there is not too much variation when the point is chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.
But blondies on the other hand are like a blank canvas, waiting for the artist to color it in.
And usually folks fall on one side of the camp or the other, and I am on Team Blondie all the way.
I am not a chocoholic as many people proclaim to be.
Carboholic, yes (see All Hail Kale), but chocolate, not so much, and prefer it as more of an accent to something else rather than the main attraction.
I’ve been asked what the difference is between these and a “pan cookie” and I can tell you that this isn’t any old drop cookie recipe shoved into an 8 x 8 pan. Instead, it is a carefully thought out combination of ingredients, each having its own special job, but together create a taste explosion.
The texture, chewy and dense, will satisfy the most hardcore brownie lover (you are a tough bunch, btw).
The sugar and butter caramelize and people will ask what your secret ingredient is, and even try to guess (butterscotch, caramel, toffee). But no, alas, it is just the transformation of seemingly everyday things that creates this illusion.
And as for the kosher salt, well, this in fact is key here. It gives the blondies balance so they do not come off cloyingly sweet or garish in their dessert-ness, and instead create a depth that brings out all of the other flavors, especially enhancing the bit of chocolate that goes in.
These are buxom blondies, that eat like a meal with their hearty, toothsome, cakey texture, the meatiness of the nuts, the ever-pleasant burst of chocolate in every bite. They sit in all their glory on their plate waiting for someone to fall game to their voluptuous appeal, laden with deliciousness.
This is dessert after all and it doesn’t play fair.
But alas, life is not always fair, and blondies really do have more fun. Feel free switch it up and add raspberries and coconut, or chopped peanut butter cups, or nothing at all.
But this is how I like it and I am a fun gal, after all.
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into the measuring cup and then leveled
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt, slightly rounded
¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (okay, make it heaping if you must)
¾ cups chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square baking pan. Line the pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on 2 sides; then butter the parchment (the butter here will help form a crisp exterior).
2. In a large bowl, melt the 2 sticks of butter in the microwave and let cool for a few minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the baking powder, and salt; set aside.
4. Into the large bowl with melted and slightly cooled butter, whisk in the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined (do not over mix). Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.
4. Spoon the batter in the prepared pan and even out the top.
5. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 minutes for a 9 x 9 pan, and 45 minutes for an 8 x 8. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack. Holding the paper overhang, lift out the blondies. Cut into 16 squares (or cut them again to make 32 slices or triangles).