As we move slowly and steadily into spring, chocolate desserts often get pushed aside for fresh seasonal fruit, ice cream and sorbets, and light lemony treats. But when you start missing bars and cookies again, blondies come reliably to the rescue.
By definition, blondies are essentially brownies without the chocolate batter. The bars traditionally contain butterscotch chips and pecans with occasional handfuls of chocolate chips folded in for good measure. But it doesn't stop there: home cooks, recipe developers, and writers have elevated the blondie from its humble beginnings to something quite different, now using fruits, nut butter or interesting spices like cardamom or Chinese five-spice powder.
Melissa Clark wrote about her experiments with blondies last week in The New York Times and how she aimed to incorporate chocolate in the batter...and failed: As she wrote, "It turns out that a perfectly fudgy brownie does not want to be gilded with butterscotch blondie. A fudgy brownie wants to be left alone, its bittersweet integrity maintained." And so, Clark created a banana blondie with a slight chocolate cookie crust, an homage to the classic while also exploring new dessert territory. I, for one, can't wait to try one, regardless of the season.
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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