Never ones to shy away from sweets, here is another dessert that graced the table during the holiday season. Amir hosted a pre-Thanksgiving potluck in November, and I contributed these bars to the array of dishes. I had buttermilk for days in my fridge, and I managed to use buttermilk in several recipes over the course of a couple of weeks. Do you remember the Caramelized Onion and Scallion Cornbread that popped up on the blog a couple of months ago? Buttermilk was a prime ingredient. Baking with buttermilk, whether the product be sweet or savory, is a great way to make use of leftovers in that carton.
The recipe for these blondies comes from the Real Food Has Curves blog. This version has a bit more white sugar and less vanilla, but the main difference is the add-ins. Instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips, you will find coconut, hazelnuts and white chocolate chips spread throughout the batter. Once cooled and cut, the bars are rather dense and very chewy with the expected crunch and bite of the nuts and chips. Yes, they are sweet–very sweet–but thanks to the tang of buttermilk, there is a semblance of balance. If you are someone who shies away from chocolate brownies, but loves a warm, baked dessert, blondies may be just the bar for you.
- Floured baking spray
- 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups light brown sugar
- 1½ cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ buttermilk, at room temperature
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
- ½ cup toasted skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8” x 12” x 2½” baking dish with parchment paper, then spray with floured baking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until fluffy and creamy, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until each one is incorporated, then mix in the vanilla.
- Slowly add the buttermilk to the wet ingredients until combined, followed by the dry ingredients. Beat in the final addition of ingredients on low speed until just barely combined, so you may still see a few streaks of flour.
- Using a heavy spoon or spatula, lightly stir in the coconut, walnuts and white chocolate chips. Be sure not to over mix.
- Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish, then slide into the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the baking dish and bang it slightly on a hard, heat-resistent surface. Rotate the dish, then slide back into the oven, baking for another 35-40 minutes. Once golden brown and cooked through, remove from the oven, allow the blondies to rest in the pan, then cut once the bars are cool enough to handle.
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