[Expletive!] Blondie Bars


Okay.  The crying and insomnia of the last few days seems to have abated.  Are you ready for some relief?

Let's hear it for bar cookies.  Just dump that dough in a pan and see what happens.  No rolling, no fretting about burnt edges or how big to make those "Tablespoonfuls" that recipes jauntily call for.  Once cooked, you can make them as big or little as you want (there's danger in both), and their sturdiness makes them forgiving on car trips, in lunches, or packed up for firefighters (in this case.)

Blondies are basically a tricked-out, dense chocolate chip cookie, made with more brown sugar than white, and subject to variations like coconut, nuts or no nuts, butterscotch chips or toffee bits.  My favorite Blondies around town are at Oddfellows, but Columbia City Bakery is right on their heels.  By now, you know about my thing for cookies.  The Temptation Hour  is 3:00 in the afternoon, when my lids are starting to droop and I'm getting bummed about not accomplishing more in my day. Good cup of coffee; little bit of sweet gooeyness--dinner and day's end don't seem so far away.

[Expletive!] Blondie Bars
This is a Dorie Greenspan recipe, retrieved from somewhere in the great Interwebbing Blogdom.  Don't ask me where.  I think by now it's changed somewhat from the original.  All you need to know is--YUM.  I used chocolate and butterscotch chips and walnuts, but can imagine so many other variations--coconut, macadamia nuts, corn flakes.  You name it.

2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 c. butterscotch chips or toffee bits
1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 and butter a 9x13 pan.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.

In in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, bat 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 vanilla.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until they just disappear into the batter.  Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips, nuts, or anything else you're adding.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to even the top.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean.  They should pull away from the sides of the pan and the top should be a nice honey brown.

Cool to room temperature before cutting into bars.