Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dirty Blondies

I'd been craving something sweet for days, but couldn't settle on anything to bake. Did I want cookies? Some kind of bar? Maybe ice cream? As I was going through my pantry for inspiration, I pulled out a half-empty bag of white chocolate chips... that expired in August of 2010. Not ideal.

Not only was this a waste of chocolate, but I found three other bags of open goodies that were in danger of meeting the same fate! Since I couldn't figure out what I wanted anyway, I decided to dump everything that was already open into a bowl and hope for the best.

And the best is definitely what I got. A little nugget of chocolate or peanut butter in every bite, nice and dense, but chewy from all that coconut. Not to mention the crunchy, sugary graham cracker crust.

And of course, a drizzle of a little salted caramel sauce.

Oh yes. I went there. Totally optional. Except not really because this is absolutely necessary. Go out and get some (Mine's from Trader Joe's). You don't need to make it; you just made the most epic blondies of all time. Take a break. Get yourself a treat.

I had more than one of these after dinner. And no, I won't tell you how many more because it is OBSCENE. Someone come save me.

Dirty Blondies
Yield: 16 Blondies

4 graham crackers
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup, plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used a mix of dark and milk)
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Salted Caramel Sauce (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9x9'' baking dish or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers to make crumbs. Add 2 Tbsp granulated sugar and the 2 Tbsp melted butter. Process to combine. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes, until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the remaining butter with both sugars until creamy and light, about 3 minutes on medium speed. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
4. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, along with the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until barely incorporated.
5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate and peanut butter chips, and coconut. Spread evenly over reserved crust. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Set on a wire rack to cool. Cut into 16 squares to serve. Drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired. Store at room temperature.

Recipe Notes:
  • This batter is very thick, more like cookie batter than brownies. Spread it gently into the pan so as not to break the baked crust. A small offset spatula works best.
  • Try different combinations of mix-ins: pecans and coconut, all different kinds of chocolate, pretzel pieces and caramel chips, etc.
  • Seriously, the caramel sauce is totally optional. These are delicious all on their own and there's already a lot going on with the chocolate, peanut butter, and coconut. The caramel sauce just takes them over the edge.
Adapted from my Blondies


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