I’m not a big fan of chocolate cake so it will come as no surprise to hear that brownies don’t feature high on my list of favourite things to bake. Recently though, I’ve come across several recipes for blondies – basically brownies without the chocolate – which I had earmarked to try on a rainy day. Well, yesterday that rainy day finally materialised. It was the first day of the Easter holidays and with Clemmie still recovering from flu and the aforementioned rain pouring down outside, it was the ideal time for all of us to get stuck into some baking. With icing sugar covering every surface of the kitchen like fairy dust, we measured, poured and stirred in relative harmony.
And the end result? Well, the kids loved the frosted blondies but they were a little bit too sweet for my liking. I think next time I will omit the frosting and use the chocolate chips specified in the original recipe (we were out of chocolate chips so I used some mini fudge pieces I found in the cupboard instead). It is a great basic recipe, however, and I look forward to experimenting with new flavours. I have seen recipes for banana blondies and peanut butter or salted caramel blondies, all of which sound yummy.
I used a mix of two recipes: one for basic blondies (any recipe that has ‘no fail’ in the title gets my vote!) and another one for the brown sugar frosting. I prefer to follow Swedish or American recipes as they tend to use cup or deciliter measurements for the dry ingredients which I find easier than weighing everything. Usually when I’m making something that I plan to post in the blog, I measure the ingredients anyway but with three kids clamouring for the same wooden spoon I just didn’t have time. The first recipe includes the weight in grams but the frosting recipe only has cups measurements I’m afraid.
(Makes 16 bars)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Butter or line an 8-inch by 8-inch (20 x 20 cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
- 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup (230 g) lightly packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown sugar which seemed to work fine)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (140 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips (white, milk, semi-sweet, dark, etc.)
- 1/2 to 1 cup chopped and toasted nuts
- 1/2 to 1 cup chopped dried fruit or shredded/flaked coconut
- 1/4 cup liquor (bourbon, whisky, rum, etc.) Note: Increase flour by 1 tablespoon to accommodate
- 1/2 teaspoon flavourings or extracts (coconut, mint, rum, raspberry, etc.)
In a medium sized bowl, stir the melted butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg, vanilla, almond extract (optional) and the salt. Add flour and stir until incorporated then mix in any extras such as chocolate chips, nuts or dried fruit. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for around 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out relatively clean. Cool, then cut into 16 squares as they are or after adding the frosting.
Brown sugar frosting