I have a coworker who likes to drink and is a connoisseur of fine liquor. This is foreign territory for me since I don’t drink alcohol and have never cared for the taste. Plus we all know I like to eat my calories, not drink them, the occasional virgin strawberry daquiri notwithstanding. She also loves snickerdoodles so when I saw this recipe for bourbon snickerdoodle blondies, it seemed like the perfect ultimate dessert to make for her. She even supplied me with the bourbon. Which was good since I really didn’t want to buy a bottle just for 3 tablespoons to use in the recipe.
I myself like a good snickerdoodle blondie so I was hoping the alcohol would burn off and provide a decent undertone. My first inkling of trouble came when I practically passed out from the fumes of the bourbon when I added it to the batter. Uh oh. Okay, I’m either very sensitive to alcohol or a lot of burning off would need to happen before I eat this. I baked it for the recommended 30 minutes and the toothpick test showed a clean toothpick but I suspected it was still not done so I left it in for another 5 minutes. Only visions of dry snickerdoodle compelled me to take it out after 35 minutes as you know I’m paranoid about overbaking.
Turns out I needn’t have worried. Also turns out overbaked blondies were the least of my worries. First, the bourbon taste didn’t burn off and I could barely stomach the crumb of the taste test I had of this. Eek. I really don’t like alcohol. Second, the blondies were far from overdone and in fact, were quite underdone. Even the corners and the edges seemed barely baked. Plus there was a tinny taste to the blondies that I couldn’t fully attribute to the bourbon so it might’ve been the cream of tartar. I took some of the pieces to my coworker for her to try and I don’t think she liked them either, despite her love of whiskey. I hate to say it but I think this is the worst thing I’ve ever made.
|2nd attempt, sans bourbon|
However, I blamed it on the bourbon and the underbaking so I tried making it again. I hate giving up on a recipe, especially one that seemed so promising. For the second attempt, I omitted the bourbon altogether and instead substituted 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of whole milk. I also decreased the cream of tartar by ½ teaspoon. To take care of the underbaking, I baked this for 45 minutes, a full 10 minutes more than the maximum time called for in the original recipe. The results were better, although still not as good as I would’ve liked. This time the taste was much better (to me) without the bourbon but the blondies still seemed too underbaked. Not as bad as my first attempt but if I make these again, I would likely make them for even longer.
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey (can substitute 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons whole milk)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar (cut to 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 9 baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the melted butter and sugar on high speed for 30 seconds. Add in the eggs and bourbon; mix for another 30 seconds.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar and salt. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. Spread evenly into prepared baking pan.
- Mix together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over top of bars. Bake for 30-35 minutes (in my oven, took at least 45 minutes) until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean. Cool completely before cutting.