I was always under the impression that you could slap some chocolate chip cookie dough in a 9 x 13, bake it up and call it blondies. According to Cook’s Illustrated, that’s a misconception. So to test out their theory, I made a batch of their recipe, but tossed in a few M & M’s instead of all chocolate chips. I’d see if the family liked some official M & M Blondies.
There were a couple obvious differences from my typical chocolate chip bars. First, there was no white sugar, just brown. This lead to more of a caramel flavor…not a bad thing in my book. Then the ratio of butter to flour was greater in the blondies, making for a more delicate structure. The crust of the bars was almost flaky, but the insides were dense and chewy. The third difference was the use of baking powder in the blondies instead of soda. This Huffington Post article suggests this may keep the bars lighter in color and possibly doughier in the middle. Again, all this was good with me…
Well, my taste testers don’t give a hoot about baking chemistry, just taste. These were winners…and Bill tried to mask his disappointment as I packed up most of the bars for Nick to take back to his apartment. He and his college roomies came home for the Indy 500…and boy, can they eat. I’m not sure these even made it out of the car after the ride back to campus!
- 1½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons butter ( 1½ sticks), melted and cooled
- 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup M & M's (plus a few extras to garnish)
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick foil, leaving enough overhang to help you lift the blondies from the pan when they're done.Set aside.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in medium bowl until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in chocolate and M & M's pat batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Push in a few M & M's on top of dough to garnish.Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown,27-30 minutes; do not overbake. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan using foil and cut to serve.
I’m starting a new series of Skinny Tips. How I keep slim is one of my most frequent inquiries. I’ll feature tips on some of my upcoming blog posts.
Tip #15: Don’t drink your calories unless they are nutrient dense. Give up those sugary sodas and limit your wine to just a glass with or before dinner. And if you have a glass of orange juice or a smoothie, make sure you’re just drinking one serving’s worth. Read your labels for those details.