Sunday, July 25, 2021

New Family Classic - Salted Maple Blondies

Today, I am very excited to record another irresistible dessert that will undoubtedly make our family rotation. Conceived in a moment of desperation wherein I was craving something chewy, buttery, sweet and salty (what's new?), these Salty Maple Blondies were thrown together with the ingredients we had on hand in a pinch, and with the help of one of my favorite baking resources. More on that below. While Brownies are usually where it's at for me, I have been known to love a good Blondie, and the recipe I will share here is special for a variety of reasons. 

Salted Maple Blondies

Much like our house recipe Brownies, I don't prefer the cake-y variety, so I was thrilled when these came out extra chewy, sweet, and, as I had purposely intended, a little salty. They're also fully customizable (great with nuts or without, perfect with milk or dark chocolate), and they even give off some pretty strong cookie dough vibes, if you're into that kind of thing. Before we start, I have to give a shout to a wonderful resource that I turn to often, the Ovenly Cookbook. It's one of my go to dessert cookbooks and the Blondie Recipe you see today was adapted from their recipe, Ooey Gooey Honey Blondies, which I am sure are also fantastic.  

We used Maple Syrup instead of honey and upped the salt content by using salted butter. We keep ours in the fridge so they are always chewy but firm. They also cut cleanly and beautifully when chilled, which is a trick I use on my brownies too. All in all, if you make this one bowl recipe, you're in for salty, sweet and buttery bliss. I prefer them cut in small squares or skinny bars as they are quite rich. Their salted maple character gives me the urge to serve them as a sweet after a country-style brunch with lots of bacon, but that is a story for another day. In short, you should try 'em! 

Salted Maple Blondies
Adapted from the Ovenly Cookbook's Honey Blondies
Serves 8

Softened Salted Butter (for preparing the pan)
1 Stick + 2 Tablespoons Salted Butter
1 Cup packed Dark Brown Sugar (or, preferably, a 50/50 mix of Light Brown and Dark Brown)
1/4 Cup Vermont or other Pure Maple Syrup
1 Egg at room temperature
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract or, my favorite, Vanilla Bean Paste
1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Milk or Semisweet Dark Chocolate (bars cut into chunks or chips)
1/3 Chopped Raw Pecans or Walnuts (Optional)

Preheat your over to 350 and line a 8x8 Baking Pan with foil and then grease with salted butter.

In a small pan, melt the butter over a low flame until melted. Allow it to cool. In a big bowl, use a whisk to blend the melted butter, brown sugar(s), maple syrup, egg, salt, and vanilla extract until well blended and without lumps. Now add the flour and mix until incorporated, chocolate chunks, and blend again until they are well distributed, using a spatula.

Spread  the batter into a pan and smooth it out all the way to edges. Sprinkle nuts on top if you so choose. 

Bake for 28-30 minutes until the center has firmed up and the edges are golden brown. Cool and place in the fridge for 2 hours (don't skip this step). Even more preferably you can put it right into the freezer for a half hour before cutting. This will speed the process up and ensure they are the best possible texture.  

Use the foil to lift out of the pan and onto a cutting surface. Cut into bars or 2x2 inch squares. Store in the fridge and serve chilled as you enjoy.