I forgot to include the chocolate chips in the post title up there so why not go for broke in the picture text? It’s what we food bloggers are doing nowadays (to the irritation of some) and more is always better, right? suppose I should have called them “Browned Butter, Bourbon, and Chocolate Chip Blondies” but that seemed a bit like piling it on unnecessarily and besides, I wasn’t feeling so good about adding in those chips anyway. Where are you supposed to draw the line with this add-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink trend anyway? (There is only so much real estate on these photos kids.)
What started their life as ordinary blondies were made extraordinary with the just an addition of the ever-popular browned butter tweak and a heavy splash of bourbon. Bourbon, it can’t be said loud enough, makes everything taste better which is why you see a splash of it popping up in just about every good thing blogged this past year. I even saw it in splashed into salad dressing. Mm… Lately, I’ve been finding that an extra splash of bourbon in my bourbon has been helping my attitude as I deal with garage contractors and insurance companies every day after work.
These blondies would have been sublimely perfect and certainly in no need of additions should I have stopped after adding the bourbon. Like every other food blogger I know, however, I couldn’t resist the cheap temptation to add chocolate. Or something. Its what we food bloggers do. We add things. It would be a very boring food blog world out here if we didn’t. Believe me. If we didn’t add things we’d all still be blogging about the same buttermilk biscuits or brownies but because we add things you get cheddar, onion and jalepeno bacon biscuits or caramel brownie nutella marshmallow brownies.
Adding chocolate here felt somewhat like cheating though. At least to me. Like shooting fish in a barrel. The easy way out. I wish I had either left them plain (with bourbon of course –which is now the new “plain”) or had gotten a bit more in touch with my creative self. I have a cabinet full of coconut (regular, sweetened and toasted), dried cherries, candied orange peel, peanut butter and peanut butter chips, bananas, banana chips, and so on. I could have added any of these but no. I added chocolate chips. I’m a wuss.
I have always thought that the whole point of a blondie was that it was to be something of an “anti-brownie”. The butterscotchy yang to the brownie’s overplayed chocolate/cocoa yang. By rights, shouldn’t that mean blondies should contain no chocolate at all? Ever? What was I doing upsetting the natural order of things and letting down my own creative self all at the same time? Shame on me.
But they were good. Great even. Damn.
Clearly I tossed in these chocolate chips on impulse because I knew they would get cheap, quick applause. And it worked. Almost too well. Chocolate chips took them so far over the edge I could not get any work done for a full hour after setting them out on the lunchroom table at the office.
“O.M.G. did you make those weird brownies in the lunch room?”
I laughed but tried to not be so obvious to the fact that I was laughing at her poorly structured thought — which she actually uttered aloud in “Internetspeak”. (I hope that doesn’t become a thing as popular as browned butter or bourbon.)
“You so totally need to make these again!”
I will. But next time I’m adding bacon. So there. But for now:
Browned Butter Bourbon Blondies
This is what you will need:
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts/pieces -- toasted
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons browned butter, cooled
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (I used dark)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
This is how you make it:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8 x 8 baking dish by cutting a length of parchment to fit and allow paper to come up over the top edge by a comfortable margin.Cut another piece to do the same on the opposite side. ( Since you may be using sharp scissors to cut the parchment or the jagged edge thingie on the box, please refrain from ingesting your first splahs of bourbon until after you have put your sharp objects safely away.)
- Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- Brown the butter by melting it over medium heat, stirring and swirling, swirling and stirring consistently while it is cooks. The butter will sizzle and bubble and bubble ans sizzle as the solids turn a toasty color and butter starts to smell nutty. As the bubbling subsides and the solids get browner the butter is done. Remove it quickly to a large mixing bowl where it can stop cooking and start to cool down.
- Check your drink and see if it might need an extra splash of bourbon.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar to the butter in the other mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Add the egg to the sugar/butter mixture and continue mixing. Blend in bourbon, vanilla and mix until incorporated. Fold in dry ingredients from their bowl and mix until just incorporated. Don't over mix!
- How is that drink?
- Add chocolate chips (or any other add-ins your heart desires) and mix until just distributed. Fold batter into mixing pan and spread out evenly. Bake in oven until the top is shiny, golden brown and starting to crackle. 22-24 minutes depending on the amount of add-ins. Use a toothpick tester so you do not over bake. Cool in pan and then lift out by the parchment paper. Cut into squares with a clean chef's knife.
- Cue applause.