Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Butterscotch Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Blondies are a great thing to make when you're visiting someone else's home. They are as simple as baking a batch of cookies, but actually take less time because all the dough goes into the oven at once. You can add anything that is lying around the kitchen, so having anything beyond the basic butter-sugar-flour-egg ingredients is not vital. Chocolate chips, nuts, chopped candy bars, dried fruit or candied fruit will all work. Much like making brownies, there is no need for multiple pans. And, of course, cookies require nothing beyond a bowl and a spoon for mixing.
I visited my brother this weekend and wanted to bake something for him and the guys he lives with. There are 5 of them, in total. Now, these guys do cook for themselves - not haute cuisine, but they know how to use appliances other than the microwave. Cooking is not a priority for them, though, so sometimes specific utensils or equipment that I consider vital are lacking: spatulas, whisks, an actual baking sheet (they use a round pizza pan). I used a 9x13 casserole dish, lined with aluminium foil. I recommend lining the pan instead of greasing it with butter or cooking spray because the blondies will be much easier to remove. They had flour, sugar, butter and eggs, though the brown sugar and the baking soda that I used I bought for them on my last visit. I used chopped up Hershey bars and butterscotch chips, roughly equal amounts of each, but probably a bit more chocolate. Total time took about 30 minutes, not including preheating or mise en place. Easy.
Once baked, the blondies can be cut into any sized bar. So they work as well for a crowd as they do for a small group.

Butterscotch Chocolate Chunk Blondies
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar (half brown, half white)
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips/chocolate chunks/whatever is lying around

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper.
Stir together flour, baking soda and salt.
Cream butter and sugar by hand or with an electric mixer. Add in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Stir in vanilla.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 2 additions, then add your chocolate/butterscotch chips and stir until batter is smooth. Spread evenly into your prepared pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until the edges are golden brown (A slightly longer baking time will produce a slightly more cakelike cookie). A tester should come out clean, if you use one.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then lift out onto a rack for further cooling. Cut bars as desired.