Infinitely Adaptable Blondies

What happens when you throw in almost every single ingredient from your pantry into a bowl of batter? You get these blondies. For those not familiar with blondies, they are the chocolatey brownie’s cousin. Or its hot sister, depending on who you ask. It’s basically an amalgamation of butter, brown sugar, flour, and anything you could possibly mix in there. And no matter what you do decide to throw in, they come out unbelievable.

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Inspired by some of my leftover ingredients from Christmas, I decided to throw them all into one dessert. My sister is the blondie fan in my house, and together, we brainstormed the rest of our add-ins. I knew it had to have sprinkles and mini white chocolate chips, so that was a given. We love coffee flavored anything, so we threw some of that in there. Finally, we threw in some leftover sweetened shredded coconut I had from making macaroons. Our add-ins were set, all we had to do was get a recipe.

I went to my standby, Smitten Kitchen, for this recipe. Deb was absolutely right in naming these “infinitely adaptable” because they just are. If you think the batter can withstand it, I’m sure you can throw in all of the add-ins for a magical dessert that’s less blondie and more chunky. The recipe is ridiculously easy and can come together last minute. The best part? You don’t even need to wait for butter to soften! What makes this recipe even easier (as if that’s even possible): setting up your mise-en-place. That super fancy French term literally means “everything in its place.” For cooking and baking, it means having all of your necessary ingredients pre-measured and organized at your work station; ready to be used at will. It helps things go by way faster since everything is within reach, and helps keep things less stressful. I love having a little set up because not only does it make me feel like a real baker, but I like the whole “dump-and-ditch” of the bowls into the sink. And because having all the ingredients laid out looks super cute.

After melting the butter, everything is basically a free for all. I think you don’t even need any help from a hand/stand mixer! The only difficult time was waiting for them to bake and cool. I wanted to wait until they were completely cool because I have patience like that, but my sister thought otherwise. They were still a little warm when I cut them but they were TO DIE FOR. These blondies were chewy and fudgy; despite not being its darker and well known cousin (sister?) The top crust gets crunchy when cool, which adds dimension to this cookie; because you knew blondies were cookies, right? Despite the crazy amount of add-ins, these blondies kept their composure; even if they weren’t that photogenic. The coffee was ever present, adding a hint of bitterness to an otherwise sweet piece of heaven. With every bite, you’d get tiny hits of white chocolate and a surprise bite of shredded coconut. The sprinkles were mostly for color 🙂

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I have to say, for a whim dessert, these sold alarmingly quickly. With the success of these blondies, there’s no telling what other combinations we could possibly think of next.

Infinitely Adaptable Blondies – adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 9 large bars 16 tiny squares

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Add-ins:

For these blondies, I added:

  • about 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup mini white chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons espresso powder, mixed with the vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of sprinkles (mixed in with the flour so they wouldn’t sink)

Deb’s list of add-ins include:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, toasting them first for even better flavor
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract in addition to or in place of the vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup bourbon, scotch or other whiskey (increase the flour by one tablespoon)
  • Stir 1/2 cup dried fruit, especially dried cherries, into the prepared batter
  • Top with a vanilla butter cream or chocolate peanut butter cream frosting

Directions:

  1. Butter an 8×8 pan. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, or in the microwave. Bonus if you melt it in the mixing bowl (only if your bowl isn’t metal and is microwave safe!)
  2. Mix the melted butter with the brown sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
  3. Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions.
  4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle.  Cool on rack before cutting them.

Lucy’s Tips:

  • I like to add most of my add-ins with the flour, so they won’t sink to the bottom. This works well with chocolate chips, nuts, and dried fruit.
  •  For easier removal, you can place a piece of parchment in your pan before buttering the pan. Just make sure the edges are a bit longer than the rim of the pan for easy lifting.
  • These make a great game day dessert! Make different variations, cut into tiny squares for easy pickup!
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14 thoughts on “Infinitely Adaptable Blondies

  1. I’ve never been much of a blondie person, but this recipe may have just converted me! Your photos are amazing, the blondies look perfectly gooey and delicious! Thanks for sharing, I’ll definitely have to give these a try, maybe with some leftover butterscotch chips and walnuts!

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