Saturday, March 3, 2012

Proof a girl doesn't need chocolate to be happy: Blonde Brownies

So I gave up chocolate for Lent.  I once gave up chocolate for a month.  Let me tell you, it's not easy (at least for me who gets home from a long day and just wants a small piece of dark chocolate to unwind)!  I've felt like I needed to bake recently, and it seems like all recipes I'm drawn to have chocolate.  I thought about something like snickerdoodles, but somehow they didn't seem rich enough.  A nice brownie sounded good... so instead, I'll make blondies!  Yes, I probably should have gone to Smitten Kitchen for inspiration, but instead I stopped by Martha Stewart, and found this lovely recipe.  I left out the toffee chips because the only ones I had were coated in chocolate.  In all honesty, I am typing this as they bake so I haven't actually tried them.  But I licked a bit of batter (which is something I swore I would never do again, but my memory is starting to fail me and I know longer remember how miserable food poisoning feels) and it basically tasted like chocolate chip cookie dough minus the chocolate chips.  And I think that this is an acceptable alternative to chocolate chip cookies.  Especially since there are warm and gooey butterscotch chips present.

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup toffee bits


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined. Mix in butterscotch, cashews, and toffee.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into blondies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 42 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.