Are you looking for something really, really sweet for Valentine's this year? We totally love bar cookies — blondies and brownies are among our favorite treats — so when reader (and fabulous photographer!) Jennifer Rau sent us a couple of her favorite recipes, we just had to post this one for toothsome blondies.
Killer Blondies make one 9x9-inch pan of blondies
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, plus butter for pan 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup dark brown muscovado sugar (find at Whole Foods or other gourmet store) 2 large eggs 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon brandy 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips 1/2 cup white chocolate chips 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons toffee chips 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
Topping 3/4 cup butter 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup mixed white and chocolate chips 1/2 cup pecans 1 teaspoon kosher salt or fleur de sel
Butter and line a 9 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter the lining too.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan; add both sugars and whisk until combined and sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla and coffee/brandy mixture until combined. Add the flour and whisk until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips, toffee chips and almonds.
Refrigerate mixture 12 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, bring batter to room temperature and preheat oven to 350°F. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
Bake for 24 to 27 minutes or until the top cracks slightly and is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist pieces clinging to it.
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together 3/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar, stirring constantly until bubbly. Once it starts bubbling cook and stir for 1 minute. Scatter the 1/2 cup of chocolate and white chips and pecans over warm blondies. Pour the butter and sugar mixture evenly over nuts and chocolate in pan. Make sure not to get too close to the edges of the pan or it will burn to the sides.