The idea for this recipe came after my talented friend and Blogher Food ’11 roomie Hannah tweeted that she prefers blondies to brownies. Immediately I disagreed in my head, always having been a lover of brownies. But then I got to thinking. This recipe for peanut butter blondies has been one of my go-to favorites for over a year when I’m craving something sweet, thick, and chewy. Suddenly I couldn’t decide which I preferred more, brownies or blondies?
Then I had a simultaneously amazing and scary thought. Why should I need to decide? Why can’t I have BOTH in the same bite? I immediately got to work on writing a recipe for blondie-brownies – a bar with a layer of blondie underneath a layer of brownie. Despite the fact that I was in the middle of baking a tier to my dad’s wedding cake I proceeded to test my new recipe. And oh, what a success. After waiting very impatiently for the blondie-brownies to cool I cut myself a small piece to test.
It was better than I imagined. Words can barely describe, you just need to make these for yourself to see.
*Note: Sometimes I like a bit of gooey, undercooked goodness in my brownies but if you prefer a firmer texture go ahead an bake the full 35 minutes, possibly longer. You can determine how cooked your bars are using a cake test or skewer and judging from the amount of crumbs that stick.
Taste: Both deep chocolate and butterscotch flavors permeate these blondie-brownies.
Texture: Chewy, thick, gooey, all-around addicting.
Ease: A little more work because there are two different layers but they contain a lot of the same ingredients. It was actually faster to get into the oven than I had expected.
Appearance: How could you not take a bite? The brownie has that crinkly crust on top while the blondie provides a beautiful contrast of color when you cut in.
Would I make this again? Yes!!!
Yield: 16 small squares
For the blondie layer:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
For the brownie layer:
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 8x8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Line baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with nonstick spray again.
For the blondies:
In a medium bowl whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together until combined. Set aside.
Whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips and turn the batter onto the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
For the brownies:
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together until combined. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Alternatively, in a microwave, heat the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments until melted. When the chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove the bowl from the saucepan and gradually whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until combined. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, folding with a rubber spatula until the batter is smooth.
Spread brownie batter evenly over blondie batter. Bake 30-35 minutes* (see note above). Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, then remove the blondie-brownies from the pan. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Blondie-brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Both layers adapted from The New Best Recipe