Blondies with milk chocolate chips
I bake for birthdays with zealous intensity. I believe that your birthday is a day when you should be the center of the universe and everyone should pay attention to you and make you feel special. Thus, I really feel that baking for someone is the least I can do. I like to cater to specific requests, which of course sometimes leads to some interesting challenges, the most memorable of which being the time I was asked to make a multi layer cake with a fire breathing phoenix for a work colleague. I tried my best and came up with this mostly legitimate substitute:
A bit friendlier and the owls are more happy than terrifying, but I was pretty proud.
Anyway, with a couple peoples’ birthdays this week, I decided to make a batch of blondies as a change from the typical cookies. My flatmate is a fan of milk chocolate (somehow I am still friends with him, as difficult as this difference in philosophy is – I am a massive dark chocolate and only dark chocolate snob), so I specifically bought some Cadbury milk chocolate buttons for this purpose. By the way, apologies to non-Americans for the lack of grams in most of my baking recipes – I have been brought up on cup measurements so tend to use those, though now that I have lived in Australia for a while, I am quite used to measuring butter in grams, not sticks or cups. Always feel free to ask if you have questions about measurements!
Blondies (adapted from Flour Arrangements)
Makes 24 or more, depending on how small you cut them (I’m a fan of tiny ones, since then you can eat more of them)
160 g / 1.5 sticks butter, melted
2 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
250-300 g / 12 ounces chocolate chips (I used Cadbury milk chocolate melts, which are much flatter – I probably would have preferred chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 F. Butter and flour a 9 x 13-inch rectangular baking pan; set aside. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and salt. Remove from heat and stir in eggs one at a time and then the vanilla extract. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and press lightly into the dough if you wish. Bake for 30 minutes or so – I always keep a close eye on it and like to test the bars with a knife – when it comes out clean, they are ready to go! Technically you should cool in the pan before slicing, but I am certainly not judging if you attempt to eat one as soon as possible.
Add the eggs one at a time to the brown sugar and butter mixture
Add the flour to the wet ingredients mixture.
Spread into your prepared pan and then sprinkle with the chocolate chips
Just out of the oven
Cut, now officially ready to eat
These were very successful in my apartment and got the hearty stamp of approval from the flatmates, which is always a nice way to start my week!