But I did take this nice picture of a brownie. :]
Now let’s talk about blondies.
For a long time, I had no idea what a blondie was. I thought it was a white chocolate brownie or something, and since I’m not a fan of white chocolate, I never ventured to find a recipe for blondies. But then one day, Bobby Flay opened my eyes.
It was an episode of Throwdown that taught me two very important things:
1) Blondies are closer to cookies than anything. The most important characteristic of a blondie is brown sugar.
2) Bobby Flay sucks at making blondies.
After watching the episode in which Flay lost, I went to FoodNetwork.Com to try to find the recipes from the episode. Since Flay’s recipe didn’t win, and of course the winning batch was a secret known only to the gentlemen running Sugar Daddy’s, I went to plan B.
I needed to find a skeleton recipe that would allow me to recreate the winning blondie. The Sugar Daddy’s had added white and milk chocolate chips and pineapple to their batter, then sprinkled coconut and cashews on top before baking. -Of course I was planning to omit the white chocolate since I’m not a fan.
After poking around the internet, I found a basic, “add your own stuff” kind of recipe at Smitten Kitchen, and it was really delicious. The only problem was that I put so much on top, it just went flat. All the fat was pushed out the bottom by the weight of my toppings, so the blondies were greasy. I was reminded of these giant cookies we used to buy at my high school, that always tasted good, but seemed a little under done. You had to wrap a napkin around them to soak up the extra fat. Since the blondies in the Smitten Kitchen pictures looked nothing like that (they looked delicious!), I figured I had done something wrong. Noticing that Deb’s recipe called for no leavening agent, and that she hadn’t topped them with anything, but had mixed all the extras in, I decided to check around for a recipe that would provide a slightly beefier base product. ( I have tried just mixing in the coconut and cashews and chocolate into her batter, and it worked great! )
So while I was hunting around checking my options, my dad suggested I try a David Lebovitz recipe from The Perfect Scoop. This one was better suited to my choice of toppings. When I was finished, my blondies were the thickness of a good brownie, had no strange pool of fat underneath, and tasted really, really good. I liked the result so much, that I made his brownies too (but I had only Baker’s chocolate in the house so the end result was not really to my liking. Just remember the quality of the chocolate is important!!)
Chocolate Coconut Cashew Blondies
adapted from a recipe in The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Unsalted Butter – 1/2 cup
AP Flour – 1 cup
Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda – 1/8 tsp
Salt – 1/8 tsp
Light Brown Sugar – 1 cup
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Egg – 1
Shredded Coconut – 1 cup
Cashew Halves – 1/2 cup
Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped – 1/2 cup
Preheat your oven and get your 8×8 dish ready by buttering it up, and laying some parchment on the bottom.
Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan and let it cool while you sift your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
Mix your brown sugar and vanilla into your sauce pan with the butter. Add the egg.
Combine your butter mixture into your dry ingredients until just incorporated, and spread mixture into your pan.
Top first with the chopped chocolate, and follow with the nuts, and then the coconut.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until nice and brown and puffed in the middle. Cool completely.