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

salted butterscotch pots de creme

My favorite restaurant that we ate at in San Francisco was Claudine. It is
tucked away in the French Quarter, right behind the famous Cafe Claude. It’s a
tiny restaurant with a charming, green, outdoor seating area– an alluring
oasis away from the busy streets of San Francisco. The cuisine is a fusino
between Californian (think avocados and citrus) and traditoinal French cuisine.
Claudine refers to it as “an intersection where slow food concepts meet
global inspiration.”

The best part of our meal was dessert (of course!). My dad ordered the
salted butterscotch pot de creme. A light sprinkling of sea salt really adds a
whole new dimension to the familiar flavor of caramel. It turns this from a
butterscotch pudding into an elegant pot de creme au caramel — oozing
with extraordinary butterscotch flavor.

This no-bake recipe is the easiest one out there, no egg yolks, no heavy
cream — just really good caramel and milk whisked together to
pudding-perfection! The hardest part is waiting for it to set in the
fridge. 

These desserts can be kept chilled in the fridge for a few days — making
them perfect for a simple yet sophisticated make-ahead dessert. I made mine in
my new mini Weck jars that I couldn’t wait to use.  If you don’t have
clear small pots, you can always use ramekins.

With love,
Erica

Butterscotch Pudding

Adapted from Ripe For Dessert

Ingredients 
 

  • 4 tablespoons (60g) butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1 cup (180g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2½ (625ml) cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt and whipped cream for garnish

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the dark brown
sugar and salt, then stir until the sugar is well-moistened. Remove from
heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup
(60ml) of the milk until smooth (there should be no visible pills of
cornstarch), then whisk in the eggs.
Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar,
whisking constantly, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture as well.
Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil,
whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low
simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking non-stop, until the
pudding thickens to the consistency of hot fudge sauce.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour into 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups and chill thoroughly, at least four hours, before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and fresh sea salt before serving.