Blondies: A sweet treat that is a little salty too

A blend of biscuit, cake and brownie, these blondies embrace the pretzel’s saltiness

I have a penchant for salty foods. When I crave something, it is usually something savoury, salty, crunchy and crisp. Pretzels are one of my weaknesses – not the traditional doughy delights (although they are delicious), I’m talking about those tiny crunchy American snacks, each one identical to the next from their commercial production. Saline foods are so easy to snack on incessantly, just the one never does satiate my craving.

Salty and sweet is a well-known pairing, each one complements the other perfectly, and this week’s recipe champions both. I love adding salty flavours to desserts and sweets, and these blondies are the perfect balance of savouriness from the salty nuts and pretzels, and sweetness from the brown sugar and milk chocolate.

Blondies are a relatively new concoction, occasionally referred to as “blonde brownies”. They are a cross between a biscuit, a cake and a brownie, and their texture is unlike any other baked treat I know of. They are made without the addition of cocoa powder and sometimes with white chocolate instead of dark. They have a gloriously rich vanilla taste rather than that deep dark chocolate flavour we know and love in a brownie.

I add peanut butter and swirl through some crushed peanuts for a double dose of nut, and an added bit of salty oomph. The peanut butter is creamed together with butter, before adding brown sugar, for a gorgeous caramel nuance, eggs, vanilla extract, flour and a little baking powder for lightness. I swirl through chopped milk chocolate for a lovely sweetness.

You can leave the nuts out if you prefer and use either white or dark chocolate instead of milk. I tend to buy bars of good quality chocolate and chop it myself rather than using chocolate chips. I find it melts better and you get beautiful random shards of chocolate dispersed through the blondie.

Before baking, I gently push a few pretzels into the top, and the blondie batter cooks up around them ever so slightly, creating a perfect pop of crunchiness in every bite.

Like brownies, these are cut into picture-perfect squares. I bake this recipe in my usual 20 x 20cm square tin and it makes nine squares. These delightful little bites keep well in an airtight container for a few days and they freeze perfectly too.

Recipe: Pretzel peanut butter blondies