Browsing Tag


Coconut Caramel Blondies

February 15, 2012

Happy ‘Day After Valentine’s Day,’ everyone! How did you spend yesterday? Joe and I aren’t much for fighting the crowds of people on February 14th. Instead, we opted to take Nutmeg on a walk when we got home, make dinner together (salmon, asparagus, garlic rye toast) and watch The Biggest Loser. Pretty great night if you ask me!

Now moving on to matters related to blondies…

Working for a publishing company, magazines, bookazines and cookbooks are never in short supply. All the new publications land on our administrative assistant’s desk, which I frequently scan. A couple weeks ago, I found a Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication called ‘Our Best Desserts’. If you can get your hands on a copy, I highly suggest doing so.

And as usual, the recipe I made first was dependent on the ingredients I had on hand. But since I was short on pecans, I swapped them for slivered almonds. And since ice cream was lurking in our freezer, it got tossed into the mix, too. I’ve yet to find a dessert that doesn’t taste better with ice cream.

I served these blondies when Joe’s parents were visiting a couple weeks ago, and they were a huge hit. Although you can’t see from the photos, there are marshmallows stirred into the batter for extra chew, and the coconut, butter, brown sugar, and almond mixture you press into the pan before the batter makes for a caramelized, chewy crust underneath the actual blondies.

Oh, and did I mention that these bars actually taste better as the days go by? Well, they do. I was able to slip a bar into Joe’s lunch for about a week without feeling like the flavor or texture suffered. Which is a major win in my book.

Coconut Caramel Blondies
Adapted from Our Best Desserts bookazine

*1/3 cup butter, softened
*1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
*3/4 cup slivered almonds
*2/3 cup packed brown sugar
*1/2 cup butter, softened
*1 cup packed brown sugar
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*3 large eggs
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup tiny marshmallows
*Vanilla ice cream (optional)

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the 1/3 cup butter over medium high heat until melted. Stir in the coconut, almonds and 2/3 cup brown sugar. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.
*In a large bowl, beat the 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1 cup brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined. Beat in flour until combined. Stir in the marshmallows until they are completely coated with the batter. Carefully spread mixture over the coconut layer.
*Bake about 25 to 28 minutes or until top is evenly brown. Center may jiggle slightly when gently shaken. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. If desired, serve with ice cream.

Happy Baking!

Peanut Butter-Butterscotch Blondies with Salted Peanut Butter Cream

January 29, 2010

I wasn’t planning on posting anything until after the weekend, but this idea was nagging at me all week, begging “bake me!” And now I’m glad I didn’t wait, because it would be cruel and unusual punishment to withhold this recipe from you all. Seriously, this is without a doubt the best recipe to come out of my kitchen in an awfully long time.

One of my favorite food trends to surface in the past year has been kosher salt playing a major role in baked goods. A longtime fan of the salty/sweet combo, my taste buds have been overjoyed with every salted caramel and chocolate that comes my way. Salt works so well with everything sweet because it’s a flavor enhancer, so in the right amounts it can enhance the flavor of anything, including sweets. Don’t believe me? Add a tiny bit of kosher salt to your ice cream, chocolate cake, or banana tart. Not a lot, just a little is enough to make the flavors of any sweet amazingly better.

Better yet, instead of sprinkling salt on to ice cream or chocolate cake (because you can always do that some other time) run to the kitchen, preheat the oven, and get to making these salted blondies. But whatever you do, make sure you have someone in mind to share these with because one slice could easily turn into two, or three. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Creamed butter

After the sugar, both brown and granulated, have been added

Adding in the 1/2 cup of peanut butter

Post peanut butter and sour cream additions – light and fluffy

Baking in a 10-inch round tart pan makes serving easy and presentation impressive.
However, you can bake in a 9×13-inch pan if you don’t have a tart pan.

*1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
*1 cup packed light-brown sugar
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*2 eggs
*1 1/2 teaspoons coarse (kosher) salt
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1/4 cup sour cream
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 (12-oz.) package butterscotch chips
Salted Peanut Butter Cream
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
*1/2 tsp. coarse (kosher) salt
*1/4 cup milk
*3 cups powdered sugar

*Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease a 10-inch round tart pan (9×13-inch pan may be substituted). Set aside. With an electric mixer, beat butter at medium to high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add in granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy and well-combined, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once.
*Add in eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Add in salt, creamy peanut butter, and sour cream. Beat until well-combined and fluffy. The batter will be light and airy. Add in extract.
*Mix in flour in two additions, beating just until combined. Stir in butterscotch chips by hand.
*Transfer mixture to pan and spread evenly to edges. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and brown, and center is golden.
*Allow blondie to cool on a wire rack until completely cool.
*Meanwhile, cream together peanut butter and butter. Add in salt, milk, and powdered sugar, beating until creamy and well combined. Spread atop blondie, sprinkle with additional kosher salt, if desired.

Happy baking!