Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day, friends! I had the blessing of being invited by Grant Dade, morning meteorologist at KLTV7 in Tyler and who is a great cook, too, to join him on his weekly “Cooking Up a Storm” segment today. I gladly accepted the invitation, and decided to make something fun for Valentine’s Day to share with our East Texas neighbors and friends.
Here is the link to the video on KLTV’s website, if you want to see how I did! 🙂 MamaSteph on KLTV
I made an adaptation of Dorie Greenspan’s blondies from her book Baking: From My Home to Yours. Blondies are new for me; my family devours my simple, chewy, chocolate-chippy brownies (recipe HERE ) but I thought it would be fun to make something we don’t usually have. They turned out great! Here is the recipe:
MamaSteph’s Chewy, Chunky Blondies
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store-bought chocolate chips
1/2 to 1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 to 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
½ cup chopped dried cherries
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and put it on a baking sheet. If you prefer a thicker blondie, use a 9×9″ baking pan and increase baking time accordingly.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Stir in the chips, nuts and cherries. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to smooth out the top evenly. At this point, I like to press some candies, in this case pink M&Ms, into the top of the batter before baking. You can be creative with your toppings!
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean. The blondies should pull away from the sides of the pan a little and the top should be a nice honey brown. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool completely before cutting.
That’s the hard part; waiting for them to cool before cutting! If you just can’t wait, just know that they may fall apart a bit, but if that’s ok with you, go for it! 🙂
Also, this morning I mentioned to Grant that I make my own vanilla extract. Here is the blog post with that method: How to make homemade vanilla extract.
It’s easy and fun and much less expensive than buying premade vanilla extract. And you guys know that I can’t stand imitation vanilla extract, which is a by-product of the paper making industry. Yuck. Make some of the real deal; it’s fun!