I've been trying a lot of recipes from other foodie blogs lately, thanks in large part to pinterest. In the "old days" (aka a couple of months ago), whenever I came across a recipe I wanted to try, I used to cut and paste the url and keep in a word doc so I can find the recipe later. Thanks to pinterest, I can now pin those recipes with abandon on a board I labeled "Baking Recipes I Want to Try" and whenever I need inspiration or want to try a new recipe, I just go back to that board and comb through whatever might strike my fancy. Technology and innovation are wonderful things.
Usually what determines why I pin a particular recipe is either I like the picture, I'm intrigued by the recipe, it contains an ingredient I know I'll need to use up someday (buttermilk, I'm talking about you) or all of the above. In this case, I was meeting a friend for brunch and needed something quick and easy to put together, with the added advantage of it won't melt in summer, it doesn't contain nuts (one of her kids is allergic) and I had all the ingredients on hand. So I went with this recipe from Mandy's Recipe Box blog. I like snickerdoodle blondies because they retain the goodness of a snickerdoodle cookie but are easier and faster to bake since it's just a one-pan affair. This was so quick and easy to put together that I literally mixed up the batter and had it ready to bake just in the time it took my oven to preheat to 350 degrees. I only made a half recipe and baked it in an 8" pan so I adjusted the ingredient amounts accordingly below.
This came out pretty well and was more moist and chewy but still a little cakey than a regular snickerdoodle cookie, probably because it was thicker than a cookie. Although, technically, it's also not like a snickerdoodle cookie because it doesn't contain cream of tartar. I used a new jar of Vietnamese cinnamon that I got from Sur La Table and it was taste-bud-opening the difference in taste between fresh cinnamon and the stuff I've been using from the Costco jar I bought long ago. The one type of ingredient you don't want to buy in bulk is spices. Buy them right before you need them, in as small a quantity as possible. Spices lose their freshness after a short time and while you can compensate by increasing the amounts you add in the recipe, it's still better to use fresh spices. I learned that lesson the hard way when I bought the cinnamon jar from Costco many moons ago. I've been using it since I didn't want to waste it but now that I have a new (much smaller) jar of cinnamon, I'm tossing the big bottle and sticking with the fresher spice.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8" pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside.
- In large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar for 3-5 minutes. Add in the egg then the vanilla, and beat until smooth.
- Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool before cutting.