The blonde brownie, or “Blondie” as some like to call them, is essentially a cakey version of butterscotch, though they may also be a relative of gingerbread.  The jury is out as to how long these little items have been around.  There is an interesting discussion about their origin (and that of their cousin, the chocolate brownie) here at the Food Timeline. According to an unofficial poll conducted by Cakespy.com, 174 vs 49 respondents prefer the Brownie to the Blondie.  Part of me really wants to make a wildly politically incorrect bad joke here.  Instead, I will simply note that as you read further in this blog, you will discover that all 174 of those respondents were clearly wrong and quite possibly insane, though I suggest that you also go read the blog at Cakespy if you are really keen to read more about it.  At Cakespy they wax poetic about Blondies and put cute little paper eyes on them to boot.

I’d never made a Blondie before a couple of days ago.  I don’t know if I had ever had one before.  I generally don’t like brownies, with the possible exception of the Two-Bite Brownies by Homestyle just so long as they are heated and drowned in whipped cream, so a blonde version has never seemed all that appealing.  I’ve seen them at the bakery near my work topped in a maple cream cheese icing and I have almost purchased one just for that icing.  I have a thing for maple and for cream cheese, so the two together seem like a pretty good idea.  But the ones at the bakery are big and really rich-looking and I haven’t ever been brave enough to try.

I found this recipe from recipezaar.com which purports to taste like Applebee’s Maple Butter Blondie.  Not being someone who frequents this establishment, I cannot vouch for its authenticity.  But the recipe looked easy and I had all the ingredients at home already (well, mostly) which I considered a major bonus so I picked it.  Plus, did I mention previously my weakness for maple and cream cheese?

The recipe was ridiculously easy.  I made the blondies and the sauce while I was in the midst of making dinner and I think dinner actually took me longer than the blondies did (though maybe that was because I was also making the blondies).  I didn’t have walnuts, so I used pecans.  I had white chocolate chips, but the package wasn’t open and I had an open package of butterscotch chips so I used those instead.  I also didn’t have quite 8 oz. of cream cheese, and all the comments said the sauce recipe was excessive, so I cut it in half-ish and used extra syrup instead of maple extract.

The batter was very thick.  I was doubtful after I dumped it into the greased baking dish. [Note: the recipe doesn’t tell you to grease the dish, but I highly recommend it as they almost stuck even with the liberal greasing I gave it].

Maybe I could have cooked them a little longer.  They turned out pretty doughy inside.  After I ate my virtuous and delicious chicken and balsamic beet salad (that’s a blog for another day) I cut myself a piece of blondie and dressed it up with sauce for the photo.  To be honest, even though they smelled good, I wasn’t really feeling it.  My generally absent sweet tooth was definitely on leave. But I considered my duty to this blog and figured I’d gone this far, so why not?  I sat down on the couch in front of my television set, cut off a corner piece with my fork, put it in my mouth and …

Before

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!!!

These are not things that a woman should be left alone with! Seriously. It was everything I could do not to go back for a second piece.  Well, okay, a third piece.  I was unable to resist the magnetic draw of the still-warm pan and I ate the second piece. Then I licked the plate.

After

Then I went to bed in a blissful sugar-induced coma. Not sure it was good for my sleep, but it was totally worth it.

The next morning, I fed a blondie to P who had, sadly, missed out on the fresh out of the oven experience the night before. He didn’t really say anything. His mouth was too full. Then he went back for seconds.  Then … in a moment of sheer, blind desperation, or one might in fact say inspired brilliance, I took the plate of blondies and my ziploc container of sauce to my office, there to offload the temptation onto my co-workers.  I was not wrong to do so.  Otherwise, I fear P and I would have consumed the entire batch by the end of the day.

I provide you with reviews from my colleagues:

R: “Thank God you provided us with this important research assignment.  Being a brunette I have always been partial to dark chocolate brownies so this is my first time ever having a blonde brownie.  Very sweet, even without the sauce, and delicious!”

G: “I could eat the sauce right from the bowl!  Quick, is anyone looking?  Can I lick my plate? Delish. Thanks, B!  (single malt pairing with butterscotch chips…hmmmm, think think think!)” [Ed. Note: to which I add that the scotch comment just proves that G is our kind of gal].

S: “Delish!  I didn’t have the sauce (I tasted the brownies before reading your note) but they are a refreshing change from solid chocolate.”

L: “Fanfreaking delicious!  Just the right amount of sweetness and mapleness!!”

and finally, S: “Delicious!  (in more detail: a delightful and refreshing brownie, with subtle notes of walnut, caramel and maple – best to consume immediately, rather than cellaring).” [Ed. Note: proving, yet again, that I work with very sensible people].

So there you have it folks. Chocolate is not a necessary ingredient for a crackdillyicious dessert! See also Deb’s brilliant Buttercrunch blog of January 20th wherein she likened another toffee flavoured dessert to crack.  I sense a theme going on here.

xoxo  B

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