Friday, September 25, 2009

Food Friday: Blonde Brownies

Happy Friday! I decided to go out on a limb and bake something from scratch this week. What possessed me to do this, I have no idea, but I am glad I ventured out of my comfort zone and did it.

My Dad is a Pastor and had a funeral to do last week. In true southern Baptist tradition, the church fed the family after the service and a PILE of food was left over. Mom brought me some leftovers, namely a wonderful dessert plate filled with red velvet cake, coconut cake, cookies, and blonde brownies. The blondies were so good, I decided to make a batch.

I tend to steer away from making anything from scratch for fear that I'll switch baking powder for baking soda, forget to add salt, use the wrong kind of flour, etc. I looked online for a simple, easy recipe for blonde brownies and found this easy recipe from Mark Bittman (of How To Cook Everything fame) and it turned out GREAT! We have eaten almost the whole pan of brownies in 2 days. The recipe itself was found on the blog Smitten Kitchen. Here you go:

8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1½ teaspoons almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8×8 pan.
Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions (see below for ideas).
Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting them.

Suggested add-ins (one or a combination of):
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, toasting them first for even better flavor
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon mint extract in addition to or in place of the vanilla
1/2 cup mashed bananas
1/4 cup bourbon, scotch or other whiskey; increase the flour by one tablespoon
2 tablespoons of espresso powder with the vanilla
1/2 cup dried fruit, especially dried cherries
Top with a vanilla butter cream or chocolate peanut butter cream frosting

Now I added 2/3 c. of chocolate chips to the batter. Dare I say this out loud but I thought it made the brownies a bit too sweet. Next time, I'm going to add pecans instad of chocolate chips.

Baking something from scratch wasn't so bad. Now I'm thinking I need to buy a pastry blender or a flour sifter. I seriously doubt I'll bake a cake from scratch but I will try some more cookies and bars recipes, maybe even a cheesecake.

Have a great weekend y'all!

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