Friday, August 15, 2008


I'm going to Bloomington, Indiana to visit my best friend Abby this weekend. In addition to her birthday present, I also want to bring her and her housemates some sort of baked good. I came upon this easy one-bowl recipe for blondies and decided to do a trial run before I made Abby's batch. Also, I knew Joe would want some for his own.

As I think about it, I'm not sure I've ever had a homemade blondie. Sure, we used to have them in the cafeteria, but I don't think I've had a non-institutional blondie. They're a great blank canvas for whatever you want to throw in. I chose to add a 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts and chocolate chips as well as a 1/4 cup of whiskey. The whiskey flavor complements the walnuts very well, and I'm not even a big whiskey fan.

These would be an easy dessert for any sort of potluck or housewarming gift, and they are delicious. I'm leaving this batch at home and will whip up another tomorrow morning right before I go.

via Smitten Kitchen

8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

  1. Butter an 8×8 pan
  2. Mix melted butter with brown sugar - beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
  3. Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions (below).
  4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. (Mine were done in 20.) Cool on rack before cutting them.

Further additions, use one or a combination of:

  • 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
  • 2 tablespoons of espresso powder with the vanilla
  • 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