best ever blondies

Please stop reffering to blondies as “brownies without chocolate.” It makes them seem lacking.  When I think of them as “brownies without chocolate,” I wnoder where the gooey chocolate is after every bite, and fail to appreciate the chewy, buttery sensation that is unique to blondies.

I still remember the first time I had a blondie. It was a butterscotch blondie, and it was unreal. To me, it’s not a blondie unless it’s full of butterscotch chips. Of course, these would be delicious with pretzels, nuts, M&Ms… but if you’re anything like me, don’t forget the butterscotch!

Now that my school is going through the peak of our fall sports season, there are so many bake sales/team events that I can’t even keep them all straight. These blondies are the perfect thing to bring to bring to bake sales for the following reasons.

1) I can prepare the entire batch in one bowl, in less than 10 minutes.

2) They are easy to pick up and eat.

3) They fit easily in a ziploc box in my backpack, and still look like blondies after being toted around in my bag all day.

4) I can throw whatever odds and ends I have around the kitchen into the batter, and they will be equally delicious. Ex. awkward handfuls of candy corn and abandoned Twix bars regularly make the mix.

5. They are mindbogglingly delicious.

What do you like to bring to bake sales?
With love,
Erica

Ingredients
 
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) butter, melted
1 cup (218 grams or 7 3/4 ounces for light; 238 grams or 8 3/8 ounces for dark) brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup (4 3/8 ounces or 125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/3 cup chocolate chips

  1. Butter an 8×8 pan
  2. Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
  3. Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions.
  4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in
    the middle. I always err on the side of caution with baking times —
    nobody ever complained about a gooey-middled cookie. Cool on rack before
    cutting them.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

apple brownies

Last
weekend, we bought some beautiful honeycrisp apples from the farmer’s
market. They have been sitting on the counter, looking all shiny and
pretty for the past few days. My dad loves apple pie, and now that it is
officially fall, I felt that I should bake him one.

However,
the thought of making a pie crust on a Tuesday night didn’t excite me
— and the thought of using store bought crust for the first pie of the
year made me a bit sad. So, I made these apple brownies — and everyone was excited and no one was sad.

I clipped this recipe from the back of Living. I
often find my recipes on Pinterest and other recipe blogs, so I always
feel good when I bake something from a clipping or cookbook. It makes me
feel a bit old fashioned, a bit rustic, a bit more self-sufficient.
Plus, it helps with the “sticky keyboard” issues I often encounter.

These
brownies are a cinch to make — I whipped these brownies up even faster
than the chocolate version (dare I say these brownies are as delicious
as my super-fudgy chocolate version?!).
They are moist, tasty, and loaded with fall flavor. They have a flaky
crust, just like chocolate brownies, but are full of soft crumbs and
sweet apple chunks. Plus, these are super easy to slice and ea: no mess, no forks, no hassle – making them perfect for back to school bake sales.

I never understood the whole “bring-your-teacher-an-apple” phenomenon. Why do elementary teachers use the apple motif of everything?! After making these brownies, I finally understood. Bring some of these to class, and you will be the teacher’s pet. Guaranteed. 

With love,
Erica


Ingredients

  • 1 stick salted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for dish

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • 2 large firm-sweet apples (about 1 pound total), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 3/4 cups)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center position. Generously butter an 8-by-11-inch baking dish.

  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and
    baking soda in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together butter,
    sugar, and egg with a mixer until pale, about 2 minutes. Add walnuts and
    apples, and stir by hand until combined. Add flour mixture, and stir
    until combined, about 30 seconds more.

  3. Spread batter in pan, and bake until golden brown and
    slightly firm, about 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes,
    then cut into 12 bars.

Bars can be stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Living , October 2012