Flipping through a cookie book the other night before bed, a recipe for blonde brownies caught my eye.
“essentially the classic Toll House cookie pressed into a pan…”
Wait… What? And the recipe called for chocolate chips?
Who are we fooling, that was a Toll House cookie bar, not a blonde brownie. Come on, people! Buttery butterscotch, crispy and chewy, almost salty; that was the blonde brownie I wanted, and suddenly I wanted it bad.
Chatting with my Mom the next day, I hit her up for her blondie recipe. Three things you should know about my baking habits: One is that I don’t normally bake for myself. Two is that when I do bake for myself it will be the most basic combo of butter and sugar: shortbread, scones, waffles. Three, I don’t ever bake stuff for myself that my Mom makes. Why struggle to make something when you can just sweetly ask Mom to make it for you. Also, why run the risk of not being able to do it as well as she does. If you bungle a recipe from Martha Stewart, you can blame smug old Martha. Bungle a beloved cookie your mom can make in her sleep and you are headed for therapy. My Mom’s sugar cookies taste like heaven. My attempt at sugar cookies taste like failure.
I was not even sure what these blond brownies were called. Blondies? Butterscotch brownies? I’d never sought out the recipe; why mess with something that Mom makes perfect? Two things you should know about my Mom: One, she is the baking bomb! Two: Her Mom, my Grandma, is the baking bomb times a thousand! The source of all baking greatness. Seriously, my Grandma is a one woman bake shop. The birthday cakes she made when we were kids are legendary! And for her, it was no big deal. I am still not brave enough to attempt some of the stuff she would whip up in an afternoon.
Descended from all this baking greatness, I grew up knowing how to bake, and assumed, erroneously, anything I tried my hand at would be delicious. I’ve never had much luck with bread. It never occurred to me that my kitchen might be too damn cold to get any bread to rise. I just assumed a genetic defect in somewhere in my own DNA, and gave up trying. (That is, until recently, but that is another post all together)
Equipped with the super simple recipe for Mom’s Blonde Chews, and my weird collection of baking baggage, I hit the kitchen last night. These blondies are the Plain-Jane, girl-next-door of the brownie world. Not much to look at, but oh, baby! You will fall in love soon enough. Crispy and chewy, sweet, buttery and a little salty. Sugar Mamma rating: Solid. Make these soon.
Makes 24 bars.
2/3 cup butter
2 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
Melt butter in large saucepan; stir in brown sugar. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Beat in eggs,( be careful not to cook eggs in warm mixture). Stir in vanilla
In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter, sugar, egg mixture. Stir in nuts.
Spread dough in bottom of greased 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° F for 30 to 35 minutes or until top is golden. Cool in pan on rack.