Blondies: quick, simple and foolproof alternative to brownies
These heavenly squares of deliciousness might have been created with lockdown baking in mind
Blondies are quick, simple and foolproof
Blondies might have been created for lockdown baking. If you love making brownies, these make a nice change. They are a very moveable feast and benefit greatly from all sorts of add-ins and swaps. This recipe calls for chocolate chips, but if you don’t have them, you can add dried fruit, chopped toffees or nuts. Use any combination you feel will provide a nice balance of sweetness and crunch.
You can even mix in the chocolates that no one likes from the remnants of any Easter eggs that might still be hanging around the house. Be inventive with what you can find in the cupboards. They’re also fairly forgiving if you need to substitute a different kind of flour, as they don’t rely too much on gluten for their structure.
Blondies are also quick, simple and foolproof. Lining the tin probably takes longer than making the blondie mixture. They can be cut into whatever size pieces suit you and they will last for days. They also freeze perfectly. If an emergency pudding is required, they need just a few seconds in a microwave and a scoop of ice-cream.
The high sugar content in brownies and blondies creates that all-important, signature crust on the top. The sweetness is balanced by the salt, which is so important in chocolate recipes. Salt brings out the flavour of chocolate and lifts the blondies to another level.
It is really important to let the baked blondies cool completely in their tin before trying to remove them or cut them. If you try to take brownies or blondies out of their tins before they are cold, they will fall apart. They’ll still taste good but they will be tasty crumbs, not tasty blondies.
Makes 16 squares
175g butter, melted
200g soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
½ tsp salt
50g dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids)
100g white chocolate chips (reserve 50g for drizzle on top)
1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius fan, and line a baking tin (either rectangular 18x28cm or square 20x20cm) with parchment paper (brush a small bit of oil onto the baking tin, beneath the paper, so that the paper sits neatly in all four corners).
2. Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan. While it is still hot, add it to a mixing bowl with the brown sugar and whisk them together for two minutes until the sugar is fully dissolved (the mixture should turn slightly paler in colour).
3. If the mixture is still hot, allow it to cool down slightly before whisking in the egg and vanilla.
4. Sieve together the flour and salt. Gradually fold them into the butter/sugar/egg mixture, till just blended.
5. Set aside 50g of white chocolate to drizzle over the top of the blondie. If you have chocolate bars, place the dark and white chocolate bars on a chopping board and use a sharp knife to chop the chocolate into small chips. Fold these chocolate chips through the batter.
6.Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Since the mixture may be slightly stiff, it is important to spread it evenly with the back of a spoon to reach all four corners of the tin.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until the top is set, with a light golden crust. Remove from the oven.
8. Melt the remaining 50g white chocolate and drizzle it over the top of the blondies. Allow the blondies to cool fully in the tin.
9. Lift the entire baked blondie from the baking tin and transfer it to a board, cutting it into squares. Store the blondies in an airtight container at room temperature or wrap tightly and freeze for up to three months.
Variation: You can add chopped macadamia nuts, pecans or walnuts into the mixture.