White Chocolate Blondies
It can be hard living with a procrastibaker. You leave her alone in the house and come back to the homework not done, books and socks strewn all over the house, other unpleasant tasks unfinished. But the counters will be full of fresh-baked cookies and cakes.
Living without a procrastibaker is decidedly less delicious.
Fortunately, the family procrastibaker comes back often to visit. Once home, she drafts a specific, sometimes lengthy, grocery list for us to fill, then proceeds to take over the kitchen. It is, in every sense of the word, pretty sweet.
True to form, there are often books and socks scattered around the house after she leaves (yeah, I don’t understand the whole sock thing either), along with unused baking supplies in the pantry. This time, there were dates (or as I like to call them, “figs”), coconut flakes and a hunk of Bernard Callebaut white chocolate.
White chocolate can mean only one thing in this house: blondies, an addictive variation on brownies that Erin first discovered in a cookbook published by the London-based Hummingbird Bakeries.
In fact, Erin’s version of Hummingbird Blondies became so popular that we made a point of trekking to the original bakery in London’s Notting Hill area during our 2008 holiday.
If baking prowess is inherited, Erin’s talents came from another part of the gene pool. My baking skills are closer to the how-can-you-tell-if-a-blonde-is-a-good-cook joke. (Answer: She gets the Pop Tarts out of the toaster in one piece.)
For the record, I am mostly blonde so I have no problem telling inappropriate jokes on myself. It also could explain my surprise at how straightforward these were to make: melt the chocolate and butter, stir in the rest of the stuff and put in the oven. I was pretty sure I must have done something wrong but Dan was a mighty big fan of the final product and even I have to admit they turned out well.
Look at that: Brownie points for the blondie. Win!
Kitchen Castoff Used
Bulk-bin white chocolate
This is how we did it
- 1 cup white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup caster sugar *
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a baking tray (about 9 by 12 inches) by greasing it with butter or lining it with parchment paper.
* Caster sugar is superfine white sugar. I didn’t have any but made some by zipping regular granulated sugar through the coffee grinder.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl (make sure it is big enough to mix the batter in) over a saucepan of simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water, and leave until it is smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla. The recipe notes here to stir briskly “so that you don’t allow the eggs time to scramble.” This caused me some worry, but I used a whisk and worked fast. Finally, add the flour, salt and pecans and stir until everything is evenly mixed. The batter at this point is pretty gluey, but Erin advised that is normal.
Spoon the mixture into the tray and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until it is golden brown and the centre is still soft. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.
Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.
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