Blondies have always held a special place in my heart. In high school, I always made them for pep squad bake sales. Now before you picture a perky girl with pigtails, I want to remind you that I am urban. So pep squad was more like 20 girls lined up doing the steps. Yes that’s right, this little Jewish girl can step. But as you guessed, I was the only one on the team.
OK, so now that you have an accurate picture, back to blondies. For the past year, my mother has been requesting a blondie. She doesn’t eat much chocolate and ever since I made the brownies, she’s been chomping at the bit for these. Really for months I’ve been hearing “Where are my blondies?”
Well back in the day, I used the standard Tollhouse recipe that we all know and love. Since then, I have matured and so have my tastes. Combining my deep affection for southern food with a recipe I stumbled across from Bobby Flay, I have developed what I think are the best blondies I’ve ever had. Oh and they happen to be gluten free. How about that?
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter
- 1½ cups flour mix A or B
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- 1½ cups light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- ¾ cup pecans
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons toffee chips
- Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the pecans on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to cool.
- Grease the bottom of a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray. Then line it with 2 sheets of parchment paper in a crisscross pattern. Make sure the paper overhangs the edges of the pan so you can easily lift out the bars when they are done.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add both sugars and whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Set aside to allow to cool slightly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour mix, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Tip: Whisk these for a good minute or two to really incorporate the baking powder. I used to think these wasn’t really necessary, but apparently it is if you want to avoid high spots.
- In the large bowl with the now cooler butter mixture, whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs until thoroughly combined.
- Add the flour mixture and whisk until combined.
- Chop the pecans very coarsely and fold them into the batter with the chocolate and toffee chips.
- Let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
- Pour into the prepared pan. Tip: View a video on How to Fold an Ingredient into your Batter.
- Bake for 24 to 27 minutes. Do not overbake! They are done when there is a slight crust on the top but your finger still makes an impression. Cool thoroughly on a rack, refrigerate, and cut into 9 or 16 squares.
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