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This recipe is part of Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies.



I remember my first blondie. I must have been in third grade when one of my classmates brought them for snacktime. I marveled at them - brownies that weren't brown! How did they make the chocolate change colors? Did they use white chocolate, if there was such a thing?

I left blondies to the world of magic until I started baking out of Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies. It was only then that I realized blondies are closer to chocolate chip cookies, especially those baked in a pan (does anyone make chocolate chip bars anymore, anyway?). There are a few differences in the straight cookie dough recipe from those of blondies, but if you're looking for a different kind of chocolate chip, try these and keep the magic alive.

A few notes about this recipe:

  • Try changing the nuts for a different flavor. I substituted almonds for the walnuts and got a very different crunch.
  • The recipe says to sprinkle half the nuts on top, but I think the recipe would be nice if there were some more of the nuts mixed into the batter. It would change the texture a little bit, but might make the tops seem less overloaded. You can also cut back on the nuts and chocolate chips on top.
  • I skipped chocolate chips and instead chopped chocolate from a brick of Valrhona 65%. The chocolate has a lower melting point than chips, so there's a little more spread across the top.
  • Assume 1 c AP flour = 4.5oz
  • The recipe called for 1 T rum and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, but I made a change here. I had homemade vanilla made with small batch rum on hand and I used 1 T total in the recipe. This gave the blondies a distinctly tropical flavor.

1 c AP flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
8 T unsalted butter
1 c (packed) light brown sugar, lump free
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 T dark rum or bourbon (optional)
2/3 c walnut pieces
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips

8-inch square pan, lined across the bottom and up 2 opposite sides with parchment paper or foil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the brown sugar.
  5. Use a wooden spoon to beat in the egg, vanilla, and rum, if using.
  6. Stir in the flour mixture followed by half of the walnuts.
  7. Spread the batter in the pan.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts and the chocolate chips evenly over the top.
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the nuts look toasted, the top is golden brown, and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan.
  10. Cool in the pan on a rack.
  11. Lift the ends of the parchment or foil and transfer to a cutting board.
  12. Use a long sharp knife to cut into 16 squares. 

Makes 16 blondies

May be stored, airtight, for 3 to 4 days

This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author.


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