Sunday, June 2, 2013

Brown Butter Blondies

Brown Butter Blondies - made May 27, 2013, recipe adapted from Great Cookies by Carole Walter

I had tried this recipe before but I had made so many modifications to it that I really couldn't judge the original recipe by itself.  So it was time to make it for real.  Although I confess, I did make a couple of tiny modifications to it.  For one thing, I decided to brown 1/2 the butter instead of barely melting it like the original recipe called for.  And I omitted the nuts of course.  Plus I used milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet.  Oh and I made it in a 9 x 13 pan instead of a jelly roll pan.  But hey, other than that, it's the original recipe :).
I'd like to say all my modifications made for a fantastic result.  However, I proved my own theory that it isn't just about the ingredients or mixing it all together.  It's also about the baking time in the oven and unfortunately, I left these in there a trifle too long.  It's hard to tell from the pictures because they look moist enough.  But to my finicky taste buds, these would've been better if they had been more underbaked.  Truthfully, I hadn't expected them to bake so fast since I was putting them in a smaller pan than the original recipe had called for.  My mistake.  I brought them into work anyway although I was sorely tempted to leave them in the communal kitchen on a different floor so no one would know on my floor that I had made "sub-par" bar cookies.

My coworkers thought I was being silly ("no, don't give them to someone else!") and I got a couple of eye rolls as other people thought these were fine but no, sorry, these didn't live up to my standards.  I will have to make them again at some point and this time (under)bake them properly.

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
¾ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 ounces high-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, such as Lindt Bittersweet, cut into ¼-inch dice

1.     Position the shelf in the center of the oven.  Heat the oven to 350˚F.  Line a 9 x 13" baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2.     Strain together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
3.     In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt and brown ½ cup (1 stick) of the butter over medium-low heat, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn, until it emits a nutty fragrance and butter solids are golden brown.  Remove from the heat and add the brown sugar, mixing well.  Cool to tepid.
4.     In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining ½ cup (1 stick) of butter on medium speed.  Add the granulated sugar in a steady stream and mix until lightened in color.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Blend in the tepid melted butter and brown sugar.   Beat on medium speed until thick and creamy, about 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla.
5.     Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing only to combine.  Remove the bowl from the machine and, using a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula, fold in ¾ cup of the chopped walnuts and all of the diced chocolate.  Scrape the batter into the pan, using the back of a large spoon to spread it evenly.  Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts.
6.     Bake for 28 to 30 minutes (check them at 20 minutes!), or until the top is golden brown and the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Do not overbake.  Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.  Let stand 1 hour, then cut into 1 ¾” x 2 ½” bars.

Storage: Store in an airtight container layered between sheets of wax paper for up to 5 days.  The blondies may be frozen.

No comments:

Post a Comment