Peanut Butter Blondies (Small Batch)

June 27, 2008

When it comes to bar cookies, I’ve rarely ventured outside the realm of the brownie. It’s just that brownies are my favorite baked good — they’re so easy to make and the payoff is great. It doesn’t get much better than the warm, gooey chocolate goodness of a brownie.

Funnily enough, I don’t have a brownie recipe posted here. (I’ll tend to that soon.) In fact, the only bar recipe I’ve posted is French Toast Blondies. I’ve wandered into blondie territory again, only this time chocolate has been replaced by it’s best friend peanut butter. The result is an extra small batch of peanut butter blondies baked in a loaf pan.

What, exactly, constitutes a blondie? No idea. Labels are always fuzzy. To me, a blondie is a bar cookie with the texture of a brownie, but no chocolate. Cakespy’s recent blondie article might shed a little more light, if your still curious.

Um, a loaf pan? Yep. If you look at my other recipes, you’ll notice that most are small (or smallish) batches. A loaf pan is perfect for a small batch of bar cookies. (The only problem is that you don’t get any middles, if you’re a crust-loather.) If you don’t have a loaf pan, or just want a larger batch, double this recipe and bake in a 9×9 inch dish for about 30 minutes.

To chip, or not to chip? For comparison, I spread half the batter on one side of the pan, added chocolate chips to the remaining batter, and spread that into the other half of the pan. If you’re in it for the peanut butter, leave out the chocolate chips… or better yet, use peanut butter chips. The bars with the chocolate chips were ooey, gooey, and delicious, but void of the peanut butter flavor I was looking for.

Peanut Butter Blondies
adapted from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

Oven Temp.: 350°
Approx. Bake Time: 20-22 minutes
Yields: 9×5 inch loaf pan (8 bars)

Ingredients
3 tbsp. butter
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. peanut butter or chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions
– Cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt, just until blended. Stir in the chips.
– Spread the batter into a loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven until the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Notes
– This recipe can be doubled for a 9×9 inch dish.

Advertisements

Master Baker, me?

March 12, 2008

I woke up this morning feeling a bit tired and cranky, but I perked up when I checked my email. It turns out that the Cinnamon Toast Blondies that I made for the Master Baker event took the cake! (I’ve never been good with puns.)

I’m blushing five shades of pink and two shades of red, because all of February’s entries look amazing. The Cinnamon Babka is going to force me to get past me yeast-baking aversion!

A ton of thanks to Nikki for putting on and organizing the event. That takes some work! I’m really excited about March’s ingredient, which is Easter candy. I’m sure everyone will provide plenty ideas to use up all the extra I’m bound to have. I’ve got a few ideas of my own bubbling up.

I’ll have a new recipe up tonight, or as soon as I get home to access my photos. It’s cheesecake this time!


The girl bakes! French Toast Blondies

February 26, 2008

I was browsing blogs this weekend and came across the Master Baker challenge. I’ve yet to participate in a blog event, but this seemed as good a time as ever — especially since I couldn’t decide what I wanted to bake. I needed inspiration.

Inspiration came in the theme ingredient of cinnamon, which is pretty broad. Truth is, I add a dash a cinnamon to just about everything I bake. I wanted to make something that focused on the flavor. I opted for cinnamon blondies. I’d never made blondies before, so I had no base recipe to work from. I chose to work from this recipe at Smitten Kitchen due to it’s high sugar and butter content — can’t go wrong there, right?

The recipe calls for a 8×8 in. pan, but I don’t have one. (I’ll work on that.) I used this weird 9.5 in. square dish instead, so my blondies came out a little flat. Also, I wanted to top these with candied pecans, but I ran out of eggs (candied pecans call for egg whites). Instead, I made a simple powdered sugar glaze and dipped the pecans in it.

The blondies are very rich, sweet, and buttery. The crust is crispy and the middles are chewy — just perfect. They taste like cinnamon (or French) toast, hence the name. I’m quite happy with them — and they disappeared quickly, so I guess my family was too.

French Toast Blondies

Oven Temp.: 350°
Approx. Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Yields: 8×8 inch dish

Ingredients

1 c. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
7 tbsp. butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. pecans, toasted and chopped

Topping:
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

– Whisk the flour, salt, and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar with the melted butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. Stir in the pecans. Spread batter into an 8×8 baking dish.
– Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping. Sprinkle this mixture over the batter. (You will likely have more than enough.)
– Bake for 20-25 minutes. Don’t over-bake. The blondies may seem underdone, but will set as they cool. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.
– Once cooled, you may opt to top the blondies with cinnamon glazed pecans.

Cinnamon Glazed Pecans

Ingredients
3 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
milk, as needed
pecans

Instructions
– Combine the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Slowly add milk until the mixture reaches a syrupy consistency.
– Dip the pecans into the mixture, then place them on top of the blondies. As the glaze dries it will adhere the pecan to the blondie.