While I can't pinpoint exactly when it happened, at some point I began to enjoy blondies much more than brownies.
Will my Woman Card be revoked if I confess that I don't really like chocolate very much? Sure, it's good in certain applications, but I'd just as soon have a fruity dessert or something involving caramel. Not only do I prefer the taste of blondies, I'd also much rather make them. Chocolate can be fussy and temperamental, and while I like the idea of endless potential add-ins, whatever you want to put into brownies are just as welcome in a batch of blondies.
My choice of add-ins varies from pan to pan, but some current favorites include white chocolate chips and dried cranberries (pseudo cranberry bliss bars!), Heath bits and chopped hazelnuts, or a combination of coconut, dried pineapple, and macadamia nuts. I've even gotten festive with red and green m&ms and colorful gumdrops (yes, Gingy's gumdrop buttons!). The aforementioned tropical version has recently been greatly enhanced by the addition of some pina colada extract, sent to me from Amoretti; it now packs a coconut-pineapple punch that was missing before. If you're ever on the hunt for obscure flavorings or extracts, check out Amoretti--they have wacky things like ham hock extract, fir needle extract, and mud pie flavoring. Peruse the products--you'll be dazzled, of that I'm sure!
(Virgin) Pina Colada Blondies
Makes 12 big bars
- 8 ounces butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pina colada extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut, divided use
- 1 coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried pineapple
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Take pan off the heat and stir in both sugars, and then beat in the eggs, buttermilk, and extracts.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter-egg mixture in the saucepan, stirring to blend well. Stir in 1 cup of the coconut, the macadamia nuts, and the dried pineapple.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining coconut. Bake for about 30 minutes, or just until the center is set and the bars are browned all over.
Disclaimer: Amoretti sent me some items free of charge, but the opinions stated above are strictly my own.