Thursday, March 1, 2012

Recipe: Shauna's Blondies

I'm very excited to share my first recipe post! Baking has become one of my favorite things to do--it's a wonderful way to unwind after a long day of practicing, and I love how something sweet can bring people together. Now, introducing the yummiest recipe for blondies, ever. This recipe is from Shauna Sever, a self-taught baker who shares amazing recipes with incredible wit and charm on her blog.

Here's what you will need:
2 1/3 cups all-purpouse flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspon salt (I used sea salt for an extra kick of flavor)
2 tablespoons malted milk powder
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli premium baking chips)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (these can be toasted beforehand, if preferred)
3/4 cup malted milk balls, coarsely chopped (optional; I chose to forego these, as I felt that the flavor was already rich enough)

Malted milk power can be found near the teas and coffees in your grocery store. If regular malted milk powder is unavailable, a chocolate malted milk powder (such as Ovaltine) can be used instead. Extra chocolate is never a bad thing!

Start with preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a small baking pan. If preferred, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper for easier removal of the bars.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and malted milk powder. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and dark brown sugar on medium speed. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well-blended and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients in two additions on low speed and beat until just combined. Finally, add the chocolate chips and walnuts (and the malted milk balls, if you chose to go with that). Give the batter a final folding by hand to ensure an even mixture. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it evenly.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes (if you have a convection bake oven, check on the blondies at 22 minutes--they will most likely be done in 25). The bars should have an even, golden color (but not too dark, or they will dry out) and a toothpick from the center should come out clean.

Cool on a wire rack in the pan for 20 minutes before removing the bars and cutting them into squares on a cutting board. Once they cool, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days (once you've eaten some, of course). Enjoy!

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