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Entries in blondies (6)

Wednesday
May112011

Bake the World Better: Sharing BAKED Blondies with Capitol Hill, Seattle

Not long ago, the extremely cute and talented boys of BAKED (one of Brookyn's finest bakeries!) collaborated with Williams-Sonoma to create Blondie and Brownie mixes based on their award-winning recipes.

And I'm just going to say it: while the impulse might be to say that homemade is generally better than a mix, these are definitely better than any I've ever homemade (perhaps sad; definitely true).

But I don't want you to take my word for it, especially since I am well-documented as being in love with the proprietors of Baked. So, I took it to the sweet--at my store.

I left this note:

...here are some of my favorite responses:...and someone maybe had a religious experience?

...and at least one person was knocked on their side:...but perhaps this eater summed it up best:

So there you have it. Don't take my word for it, take it at the trusted word of the hipsters of Capitol Hill, Seattle. Baked Blondies are your new BFF. For reals. 

Baked Blondie mix is available at Williams-Sonoma locations, or you can also fly to the East coast and pick up a batch at BAKED, buy them to ship online, or buy their books here and here .

Sunday
Feb132011

Sweet Sirens: Treats from Girl Next Door Baked Goods

According to that cultural goldmine called the Urban Dictionary, "Girl Next Door" is a rather open-ended phrase:

Every guy may have his specific girl-next-door prototype, but in general, she's the girl whom you always admired from afar and were afraid to approach.

Girl Next Door Baked Goods, on the other hand, should not be pined-for from afar. These goods are meant to be enjoyed up close and personal.

And that's just what we got to do this week, when they sent us a sweet parcel loaded with love-themed Valentine's Day treats. And it came with a sultry three-part card:

"Do Chiles & Chocolate get you a little hot?" beckoned the first fold of the card.

Well, no, not after that sriracha-brownie incident, but I powered on.

"Sometimes Love Hurts. A Hot Blonde will help ease the pain," it said on the second fold. Now, that's more like it. Blondies are my weakness, and these ones were a delight: dense, brown-sugary nuggets of buttery butterscotch awesomeness. 

and finally: "If chocolate doesn't work, try bourbon-soaked cherries. If that doesn't work, check his pulse." Well, I'll never know about this one as an aphrodisiac because I ate it all by myself, and it made me feel loved during every bite.

OF course, the cute card ended there, with an invitation to "get a crush on Girl Next Door Baked Goods", but the pleasure didn't. The parcel also contained a sampling of other brownie flavors (all served in tiny, but very potent, portions), a small bag of peanut butter cookies, and something called the "husband bait"--a buttery bar cookie with strawberry preserves and cream cheese. "Would this have made you want to marry me if you hadn't already?" I asked Mr. Spy, but he was too busy eating to answer me.

So, I guess I'd have to say it's true: CakeSpy's got a crush on Girl Next Door Baked Goods. Get a crush yourself--visit gndbakedgoods.com.

Sunday
Aug082010

Gentlemen Prefer Blondies: Delicious Blondies from Oddfellows Cafe, Seattle

In Seattle, there is a place called Oddfellows, and it is classified as both a cafe and bar. What does that mean, exactly?

Well, basically it means that you can belly up to the bar and get a delicious bar cookie to go along with your beverage. And my newest obsession? The Oddfellows Blondie.

This butterscotch-chip and nut-studded bar cookie is a bit of brown sugary, buttery bliss--pleasingly dense without being leaden, assertively but not aggressively sweet, soft and chewy, but firm enough that it doesn't crumble. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if there was a blondie to make brownie devotees question their allegiance, this might be it.

Oddfellows has a rotating selection in their bakery case; call first to ensure availability. But even if they don't have these, they're bound to have something good. You can find them at 1525 10th Avenue (b/t Pike and Pine), Seattle; online here.

Wednesday
Jun302010

Strawberry Blondies: Decadently Delicious Ice Cream Sandwiches

What's better than a blondie?

How about a peanut butter blondie?

And even better than that...how about two layers of peanut butter blondie sandwiched around sweet, rich, strawberry ice cream?

Forget blonde. Forget brunette. One bite of this confection and you'll only see strawberry blond(ie).

Starting out with my favorite blondie recipe (from the absolutely wonderful book All American Desserts by Judith M. Fertig) made awesomer with a decadent dose of creamy peanut butter, the addition of ice cream is hardly necessary, but it sure is welcome: the strawberry flavor with the peanut butter give an echo to the classic peanut butter and jelly pairing, but this end result is far sweeter--the perfect summery indulgence.

Here's how you make the magic happen in your own kitchen.

Strawberry Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches

- Makes 12-24, depending on how big you want 'em -

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup peanut butter (I used Mighty Maple)
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • To fill: 1-2 pints (depends how hungry you are) strawberry ice cream--do yourself and buy a good kind.

Procedure

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Lightly grease and parchment-line a 9x13 or 8x8-inch pan (I used 8x8 for fat, thick blondies).
  2. It's time to make the blondie batter. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir in the pecans or walnuts (or no nuts, if you don't want 'em) and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the melted butter and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture, bit by bit, mixing well after each addition. I added in the peanut butter last, mixing until incorporated. The batter was super thick; spread it into your pan.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean when inserted in the center. If anything, it's better (taste-wise) to err on slightly under-baked.
  5. Let cool completely. Cut into squares.
  6. Cut each square in half lengthwise and place a dollop of strawberry ice cream on top of the bottom half. Put the top half on top of the ice cream to form a sandwich. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and lightly flatten with hands to make the ice cream flush with the blondie layer. Chill in the freezer for several hours before serving. Eat immediately after removing from the freezer.

 

Monday
May172010

Going Blonde: Blondie-Topped Brownies for Serious Eats

Blondies or brownies?

It's a delicious dilemma: they're both bar cookie classics, one rich in brown sugar, the other redolent of chocolate.

But why should you have to decide? Because they taste so much better when baked together, in layers.

How'd I do it? Well, since brownies generally have a longer bake time, I started out my pan with a batch of brownie batter which I put in the oven for 20 minutes while I put together the blondie batter. Since the half-baked brownies would have gotten messy had I spread the blondie batter on top, I simply spooned the batter as gently as I could right on top and put it back in the oven for about 25 more minutes; the oven's heat did a nice job of spreading the batter for a tasty two-layered treat.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Wednesday
Feb242010

Go Nuts: Peanut Butter Blondies with Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post and recipe from Cake Gumshoe Julia, a 26 old wife, exercise fiend, and baking enthusiast. Her writing can be find at her site, Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body.

 Do you love peanut butter?

Did you know I love peanut butter?

I mean LOVE peanut butter. Not in a romantic way, but in a mouth watering, makes my taste buds sing kinda way. As I am getting older, not old, just older, I'm growing out of the idea that a dessert has to be based around chocolate. I now understand that a freaking amazing, mouth watering, makes you jump in the air with excitement, dessert can be based on something other than chocolate: peanut butter.

Saturday morning I woke up super early with lots of excitement and anticipation about what I would bake that day--and I realized it must be Blondies. And I could add peanut butter and make them extra delicious. I felt content with my decision. And after you make these, you will understand why I was so content. I can't say I am in love with these, because I am in love with my husband (ahh, how romantic of me). But I can say, with confidence, that these are one of my all time favorite desserts.

Peanut Butter Blondies

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Frosting

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

 Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until smooth.
  3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter.
  4. Allow to cool while combining the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt – in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the brown sugar and peanut butter mixture, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared dry ingredients, and stir to create a thick, smooth batter.
  8. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly to the edges of the pan.
  9. Sprinkle with the milk chocolate chips, lightly pressing them into the batter.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan.
  11. Mix all the frosting ingredients in a bowl with a hand mixer. Beat for about 2-3 minutes; until all the ingredients are incorporated. Spread onto the cooled blondies.
  12. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Cut into 15 large squares, serve and enjoy with a glass of ice cold milk!

These are rich, dense, and simply delicious!

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