Recently, someone asked me what makes my blondies so special. When I confessed I thought it was the combination of white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, and mini-peanut butter cups, they laughed. "They have chocolate in them?" they asked. "Then they're not really blondies, are they?"
Okay, I admit it: blondies are supposed to be the anti-brownie. Blondies were probably invented because there are actually some people out there who don't like chocolate (and really, I'm cool with that, but we're probably not going to ever get married). The classic blondie has white chocolate chips, often walnuts, and in one memorable version my Pop loved, dried cranberries (to get the whole story there, read, "A Shared Palate," the first memoir piece in my cookbook).
So sure, you could make my blondies without chocolate. I don't really see the point of living without chocolate, but go ahead, knock yourself out. Because my entire cookbook is really about generosity, I've included the recipe below.
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 mini peanut butter cups 3/4 white chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Butter and flour a 9 x 13 Pyrex (glass) baking dish (metal pans won't work as well)
3. Firmly pack the sugar and place in a large bowl. Melt the butter slowly in a small pan over low heat, or in the microwave in a glass measuring cup. Stir the butter into the sugar until smooth.
4. Meanwhile, in another medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
5. Beat the eggs lightly, then add with vanilla into the sugar mixture. Add the flour mixture a bit at a time and mix until a smooth, thick batter forms. Stir in the chips.
6. Spoon the batter to the prepared dish and spread to evenly fill the dish. (note: it will be sticky, so work that spatula!)
7. Bake until the blondies are light brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean: 20 minutes is just perfect.
8. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut into squares and serve.