Blondie Throwdown: Part II

by byn on November 21, 2010

in Bars & Squares

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When we last left off, I was on the cusp of blondie greatness, but had to stop baking as the Throwdown was quickly approaching.

Erin arrived with her submission – Milk Chocolate Nougat Blondies – and I admitted right away they were way cuter than any of my batches. Her original recipe called for a drizzle of melted Kraft (what else?) caramels over top, but she nixed that in favour of melted milk chocolate. Hers also has a top secret special ingredient: a Toblerone bar chopped up and folded into the batter.

Everyone loaded up their plates and fixed a cup of tea and we sat around and gabbed about the week. We didn’t really do a formal judging, but we first all agreed on the loser – the Pretzel M&M Blondies. They were just way too dry. The Chocolate Chip Blondies I made were a clear loser as well, and after tasting Erin’s Blondie, I realized that the fact that they were underbaked wasn’t the only problem. The dark chocolate ganache is way too harsh on top of blondies – milk chocolate is absolutely the way to go.

And thus, we called it a draw between my Vanilla Bean Caramel Blondies and Erin’s Milk Chocolate Nougat Blondies. Upon subsequent review of the recipes, I now know the reason why – the recipes are virtually identical. Erin’s has two differences, the Toblerone bar added in, as well as both baking powder and soda. One other interesting point – Erin’s recipe calls for the butter to be softened, while all three of my batches asks for it to be melted. This could also account for the extra height in Erin’s Blondie.

So what have we learned from this throwndown, friends? It was a neat little lesson for me, because most of the time when something doesn’t work out for me in the kitchen, I just move on and forget about it. There are so many things I have bookmarked to make, I never want to waste time or butter revisiting a recipe to see if I can make it work with some adjustments. 

I think my ideal blondie is going to be Smitten’s basic recipe, maybe bumped up by 50% only, instead of doubled, and probably covered with the Milk Chocolate Frosting I used on Nicole’s Peanut Butter Blondies back in July. Although not traditional, I would throw in the leaveners to give them a little more puffiness, because after all this testing, I found it didn’t affect the texture or take away the chewiness factor. Not sure when I’ll get to this though, as I already have 5289673 other recipes bookmarked for the upcoming holiday baking season.

Thanks to Erin, Kristine, Leianne and Amanda for humouring my baking madness and listening to me wax on about the effects of baking powder before I would let them eat.

Basic Blondies

Source: Smitten Kitchen + Kraft for the leavener measurements

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

Optional Add-Ins:

– caramel swirl, chopped Toblerone, milk/dark/white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee bits, chopped nuts if that’s your thing, anything goes

Directions

  1. Melt butter in the microwave, add to a large bowl, and whisk in brown sugar, then the vanilla and egg.
  2. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder and baking soda (and a pinch of salt if you want).
  3. Stir in your add-ins, then pour batter into a 8×8″ pan either lined with tin foil or sprayed with non-stick spray.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set in the middle. Drizzle with melted chocolate, caramel, or cover in a thick delicious buttercream icing which will hide any ugliness underneath. It’s what’s inside that counts after all.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristine November 23, 2010 at 10:37 pm

It was great and lots of fun Byn! I can’t wait for the next.

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Danielle November 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Love your blondie throwdown! Bobbie would be so proud!!

Reply

Tes November 22, 2010 at 6:05 am

I love blondies… the m&m blondies sounds inspiring! Thanks for sharing :)

Reply

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