A Southern Grace: taste of the tropics

January 5, 2014

taste of the tropics


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.


Gloria Baker said...

Gra Happy New year!!!
I love Piña colada, what lovely treat!!!

Rosita Vargas said...

Una maravilla Grace amo la piña colada,irresistible que me llevo a mi cocina ahora mismo.
Gran Año 2014,abrazos.

Becki's Whole Life said...

I am with you on the blondie over a brownie thing. I love your twist on the blondie with the tropical flavors, too!

Rose | RoseBakes.com said...

I'm not a big fan of coconut, so I'm not sure I'd like these, but I absolutely agree that most of the time... I like Blondies better than Brownies :)

~~louise~~ said...

Uh oh, I'm in trouble now! Confession time, Grace. Would you believe I have never, ever had a Blondie? There I said it. I feel so much better:)

I won't make judgement until I have actually had one and I don't mind saying, a Piña Colada Blondie may just be the best way to sample them. After chocolate, Piña colada flavoring is another yummy flavor of mine. I even have a Piña Colada Pinterest board I'll be pinning this too!!!

Thank you so much for sharing, Grace...

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...


Happy New Year, dear.



Anonymous said...

I am not a huge chocolate fan either and I prefer fruit or dulce de leche desserts! Those bars look delicious, Grace!Happy New Year!

Leslie said...

Ohhh you are totally kicked out of the girl club! ;)

Blond Duck said...

I have to like blondies b/c I'm allergic to chocolate.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I like the way you think! I love brownies, and would never give them up, but your recipe sounds amazing. Great way to have some new flavors rotated in.

pam said...

These sound good, but I am firmly in the chocolate camp on this one.

I Wilkerson said...

I did blondies with Easter colored M&Ms one Easter--they were a big hit! The coconut looks great in these!