If real babies could eat blondies, they’d probably enjoy them. And by real, we mean babies that have already made it out of the womb and into the world. There’s a lovely girl having her first baby, and to send her off for maternity leave, we thought nothing less than a batch of blondies would do. It can’t be possible for a pregnant woman to shun dessert, can it? So we set out to make them. Soft, chewy, sweet, a blondie is dessert that you could love as much as a brownie, though they are not exactly the same thing. There’s no cocoa in these babies, and they are made with all brown sugar. What does that mean to you? It means the deep, rich molasses of the sugar itself will permeate these dessert bars, creating a butterscotch flavor that bounces off the tongue. It also guarantees a moist, chewy treat due to the softer texture of the sugar’s grains. Similar to their chocolate cousin, blondies can be zazzed up anyway you like–a little of this, a little of that, or plain and pure. They’re perfect bars for the bun in the oven.
We chose to use this basic recipe because it calls for the butter to be melted before it is mixed with the sugar, rather than creamed at room temperature. That totally brings out a more intense caramelly, butterscotchy flavor. At least, in our humble opinion. We tossed in caramel bits, but of course you could use toasted nuts, dried cranberries, chocolate candies, etc. if you prefer. There’s also more salt and a little cinnamon to balance out what is clearly a very sweet dessert.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondies – Serves 16 (remodeled from Simply Recipes)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup caramel bits
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Butter a 9”x9” pan and lay in parchment paper, so that there is at least an inch of over hang (handles, if you will) on both sides. (If necessary, layer two pieces of parchment over each other in a cross pattern, so that there is enough paper hanging off each side. Use scissors to cut off any extra paper.) Spray the parchment paper with floured baking spray. Set aside.
2. Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add sugar, whisking until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and keep on whisking.
3. Using a heavy spoon, stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until just incorporated. Finally, add the caramel bits.
4. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly to all sides. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until the blondies bounce back upon touch. Allow to cool at least an hour, but do not remove from the pan.
5. Once blondies have cooled, melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Plop in peanut butter and stir to combine. Spread over blondies. Carefully lift blondies out of tray by the parchment paper handles and cut.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.