blondies, infinitely adaptable

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Blondies
Adapted from How to Cook Everything

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. 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 (below).
  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.

Further additions, use one or a combination of:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, toasting them first for even better flavor
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract in addition to or in place of the vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup bourbon, scotch or other whiskey; increase the flour by one tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons of espresso powder with the vanilla
  • Stir 1/2 cup dried fruit, especially dried cherries, into the prepared batter
  • Top with a vanilla butter cream or chocolate peanut butter cream frosting

New favorite combination of late (added 5/24/14): We’ve gotten on a kick making these again, but I’ve really wanted to increase the toasty butterscotch flavor and have done so by: browning the butter, using dark brown sugar but only 3/4 cup (I prefer these less sweet these days), increasing the vanilla to 1 1/2 teaspoons and the salt to 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or flaky sea salt, plus a few flakes crumbled on top. I use 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans as the mix-ins. Hope this provides some inspiration!


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