Triple Triple Blondies

Triple chips. Triple nuts. Triple nerms. These blondies leave behind the walnuts and butterscotch chips, and have cashew, almond, and pecan along with (wait for it) caramel chips. What what???? I know, right? Well, let me tell you a story….

Wandering in the grocery a couple weeks back, I discovered that Ghiradelli makes a caramel chip. So of course I bought them, along with some dark and white chocolate ones.  I was thinking that they would be awesome in some blondies.

We’re going on a little hike and picnic today – probably one of the last days it will be enjoyable to be outside at this elevation for a while. So, along with the muffaletta, pasta salad and aranciata, we will need some blondies.  They are Himself’s favorite treat. I’ve given up trying to recreate a flavor from his memory and just bake what I think sounds yummy. And this definitely fit the bill.

These are really rich, so slice ‘em small. After I wrapped up ours for the picnic (Himself: “Wait. You’re packing only two? What if we have a blondie emergency?” He is such a dork.), I wrapped the rest and put them in a zippie bag in the freezer.  They’ll last a couple months that way, and a quick zap in the micro-onda and it’s instant deliciousness (perhaps with a scoop of vanilla [non-dairy] ice cream…) Plus, having them safely in the freezer keeps a tray of blondies whispering your name every time you walk past the kitchen counter. A win/win, so to say.

These are super. Super easy. Super fast. Super delicious.  And a one-bowl, one-spoon wonder, to boot. Give ‘em a whirl!

Triple Triple Blondies

INGREDIENTS
1 stick unsalted butter (½ c.)
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 c. AP flour
1 tsp.Vanilla
½ tsp. Salt
⅓ c. each white, dark, and caramel chips (total 1 c.)
¾ c. nut mix (almonds/pecan/cashew)
(Opt) Kosher salt & sparkle sugar to dust the top

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a 8” square pan and lay in an Alton Brown-style parchment brownie sling.
Use a medium microwave safe bowl, and melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and salt, and stir to combine.  Stir in the egg. Set aside a half-handful of the chips and nuts, and add the rest along with the flour to the bowl and stir it vigorously (you want to develop a little bit of that gluten to get some chewiness).
Pour and smooth the batter in the pan, sprinkle with the reserved chips/nuts (and some flake salt and sparkle sugar, if you like). And bake 25-ish minutes until a tester comes out clean.  Don’t over bake – you want them just this side of cooked. Cool completely, then lift out the sling and slice in to at least 16 squares. Snarf ‘em right then and there, or wrap ‘em up and freeze ‘em.

Bon appetit!

Nutritional Information from VeryWellfit.com’s calculator, based on 16 blondies.  Each blondie has:
211 cal
13.1 . fat
150mg sodium
21.8g carbs (fiber 1.1g, sugar 14.5g)
2.5 g protein

Pecan Brown Sugar Scones

This is the second attempt at these babies. I’ve been trying to capture Himself’s favorite dessert, pecan pie. Although these are not quite there, they are quite tasty. Hopefully a future post is coming that can be called the pecan pie version. Not today, though. If I make one more batch of these this weekend, I am afraid Himself will have my head.

This version is just sweet enough, with a nice crunch from the nuts, and a little hint of salt in the special icing.

These are a little more fussy than my usual, but don’t be scared off. It’s not hard, there’s just a couple extra bits. But hey! That’s what makes these so special. And pretty enough to get rid of the leftovers to the neighbors!
Shall we?

Pecan Brown Sugar Scones.
yield: 16 mini or 8 large

Scones:
2 c. AP flour
1/2 c. dark brown sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
¼ c. toasted chopped pecans
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ c. ice cold butter
¾ c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg separated, with the whites lightly whisked until foamy.
8-16 pretty pecan halves.

Icing:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbps. water
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar.

Preheat the oven to 375*.

For the Dry, in a medium-sized bowl mix together:
2 c. AP flour
¼ c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Mix, then cut in with a pastry cutter:
½ c. ice cold butter
Set aside, and a small bowl mix the wet:
¾ c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk.

Mix the wet in to the dry genty until it is shaggy-looking. Turn on to your board/counter, and gently flold and knead until the tough barely holds tegether. With your board knife, cut the dough in to four equal parts, and gently shape and flatten each in to a disc about 6” across and ½” high. On two of the discs, sprinkle:
¼ c. dark brown sugar
¼ toasted chopped pecans.
With your board knife, gently lift one of the plain discs and set it on top of the nuts/sugared disc. (Do the same for the other) Gently press down, they will kind of stick together. Smooth the outside edge so there’s no brown sugar poking out. (Otherwise, the top half will just slide off the bottom half during baking.) Use your board knife to slice each disc in to 8 wedges. (I do halves, quarters, then eighths). Place about ½” apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss the pecan halves in the foamy egg whites. Brush the backs and tops of the wedges with the beaten egg white, and place a pecan half on each. (Why not the sides? I don’t know the chemistry of it, but essentially it’ll seal the sides so there’s no where for the scone to rise and expand in the oven.) Sprinkle the moist tops with a little more brown sugar. Bake about 15 – 18 minutes until deep golden. Remove from the oven. and place the scones on a cooling rack. When they are just barely still warm, drizzle with the salted brown sugar icing. (And ermehgerd, this icing! I wanted to just eat it with a spoon. This would be amazeballs on a coffee cake. Soooo yummy.)
The Icing:
In a microwave-safe bowl (or 4 cup pyrex!), put:
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbps. water
Microwave until it is bubbling. (Mine took about 30 seconds). Stir in:
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar.
Stir. It should be the consistency of a thick icing. Put it in a pastry tube to drizzle over the almost-cool scones. Serve and eat!


Remember to take some to the neighbors!

For the 16-scone version, the nutritional info per scone calculated using the verywell.com site is:
Calories 256
Fat 18.8g
Sodium 132mg
Carbs 19.6g (fiber 2.3g, sugars 5.7g)
Protein 4.3