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In the Kitchen With Ricky: National Blondie Day is Jan. 22

UPDATED: Mon., Jan. 24, 2022

By Ricky Webster For The Spokesman-Review

Jan. 22 is National Blondie Day! If you’ve never had a blondie, let me try and describe it: It’s as if a super-caramelly chocolate chip cookie was made in the style of a brownie and then cut into bars. Blondies have a thin, crispy top and chewy, buttery interior. They can contain chocolate chips and/or nuts and are sometimes topped with a chocolate ganache.

Blondies are believed to have originated before the brownie by about 10 years. They were named brownies in a publication from around 1896 in which that version had no chocolate but were a molasses-type bar cookie. This makes sense since blondies traditionally only contain brown sugar as their sweetener, and molasses is what gives brown sugar its color.

Eventually, the name brownie became associated with bar cookies that contained chocolate (like we now know and love). The word blondie eventually stuck as the name for the treat I’m sharing with you today; they also are referred to as blond brownies and butterscotch brownies.

I developed this super-easy recipe about 10 years ago while working at a small bakery in Southern California. It was a hit with everyone right off the bat, making it a staple in my recipe book and coming with me to every job thereafter.

Once in a while, you may find them in the case at Rind and Wheat, although we most likely doctor them up a bit with fun and seasonal takes. I love a spiced blondie or one topped with crushed candy cane for the holidays, and another favorite is adding crushed pretzels and potato chips to the base as a super-salty-and-sweet version.

Really, whatever way you bake up your blondies, I think you’ll enjoy the results of this easy and straightforward recipe, and I hope that it will become a staple in your repertoire of sweet indulgences.

Blondies

1 cup (½ pound) unsalted butter

2 cups brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

*2 large eggs, cold

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.

Place the butter in a small pot or medium saucepan over medium heat.

Stir the butter until completely melted and remove from the heat.

Add the salt and vanilla, and stir well.

Add the brown sugar, stirring until fully combined.

Add eggs one at a time, stirring until incorporated.

Let sit to cool, about 5 minutes. It is important to let the batter cool completely before adding the chocolate chips. If it’s even a little warm, the chips will melt while incorporating them.

Once cool, fold in the flour until almost combined. It’s OK if there are some white streaks.

Fold in the chocolate chips just until combined.

Pour the batter into sprayed and parchment-lined 9-inch-by-13-inch metal pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is cracked and shiny and the edges start to come away from the pan.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting. Trim and cut into bars.

To achieve the ultimate clean cut, refrigerate the blondies and cut with a hot knife that is dipped in hot water and wiped dry before cutting.

*It is important to use cold eggs as this helps to cool down the butter sugar mixture quickly so that your chocolate chips do not melt.

Yield: About 24 pieces

Local award-winning chef and Rind and Wheat owner Ricky Webster can be reached at ricky@rindandwheat.com. Follow Webster on Instagram @rickycaker.

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