Blondies

Sunday, February 12, 2012

blondies

Pile o' Oatmeal Blondies

One of the main benefits for me of this blog is that when I’m talking to someone about some recipe I like and they ask if I can give it to them, I can just come here and look for it and send them the link. And I feel like I’ve written about pretty much everything I like by now, so when I went to pull up a blondie recipe that I’ve been making for many years and make all the time, I was surprised to discover that I’d never posted it. (Though it’s not exceptionally cheap, so maybe that’s why.)

I also had a new recipe for blondies that are good and easy and cheap that I’ve been meaning to write about, so I decided I needed to do a quick post about blondies.

Both of these recipes are great because they come together very quickly and taste really good.

I like to make the cranberry granola blondies before road trips, or when I’m looking for something slightly better-for-you than cookies or brownies. They do have a lot of sugar, but they’re mostly granola and dried fruit, so they don’t put you into quite as much of a food coma as some other treats. Unfortunately granola and dried fruit can both be expensive, but they’re still worth making, I think.

The original recipe is from Eating Well magazine (the first iteration, from the mid-1990s) and I’ve modified it to use whole eggs instead of egg whites, because I think using egg whites is nothing more than a way to waste a perfectly good egg yolk. I’ve tried it with less sugar (they are very sweet), and you can drop it down to a cup or so, but if you go much less than that, they’re not very good. The texture isn’t right and they taste like something that’s supposed to be good for you.

Cranberry-Granola Blondies
adapted from Eating Well magazine

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 cups granola cereal with raisins
1 cup dried cranberries or chopped dried tart cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together sugar, oil, and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just blended. Stir in granola and dried fruit. (The batter will be quite thick.)

Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and press to fill the pan.

Bake until golden brown on top and set when lightly pressed in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in baking dish on a rack. Cut into 20 bars.

The second recipe is one I found last year when I was looking for something new and different for Third Friday food for Scrap Exchange. I checked out the Martha Stewart Blondies and Brownies entry on the website and the one for Chewy Oat Blondies seemed like the simplest recipe. When I made it, I was reminded of the salty oat cookies from Teaism in Washington, D.C., so I sprinkled a little kosher salt on top and that definitely worked. You just need to use a little bit, though — you don’t want them to actually taste salty, you just want a tiny hint of salt.

Salty Oat Blondies
adapted from MarthaStewart.com

1 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup + 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
pinch kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch baking pan.

Stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, and beat until combined. With mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Mix in 3/4 cup of oats. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Smooth batter evenly in pan. Sprinkle with remaining oats and a pinch or two of kosher salt, pressing gently to adhere. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan 30 minutes.

Cut and remove to wire rack and let cool completely.

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