Brownies and Blondies Have More Fun

My twin brother is away partying in New York City, poor child. He is awesome (more on his awesomeness in another post, if he’s nice) and a very cool guy – I love him lots. Not that this defines him in any way, but he has a severe allergy to all nuts. So until fairly recently nuts weren’t even allowed in our house, let alone the kitchen.  Then he went away to work for a couple years after high school and things like tamari almonds, peanut butter, and pistachios invaded my taste buds.  Now that he is back at home, we’ve decontaminated the kitchen and eat any nut products rarely and carefully – he’s not a baby or anything, but obviously we would like to make sure he’s feels comfortable at home! ANYWAYS, I could ramble on about my awesome twin for a while, but the whole point of this is to tell you that since he is away, I wanted to throw some nuts into tonight’s dessert! (Sorry, TShap – the kitchen has been decontaminated for your return!)

Twins in high school

I wasn’t in the mood for anything fancy (read: no delayed gratification…), so I went with some good old fashioned brownies and blondies. I’ve made these several times, but this was my first time throwing in some nuts! I picked red walnuts for the blondies, but left the brownies nut free. With nuts or without, these bars make a great, easy and totally satisfying dessert.

Blondies (makes 16 squares)

1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter
1 ¼ cup light brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
optional: ¼ cup chopped nuts of your choice

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch pan and place parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, grease the paper.

In a saucepan melt together the butter and the sugar.

Take off heat and mix in the egg and egg yolk and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add flour, salt and nuts and combine thoroughly.

Red walnuts for the blondies.

Spread in prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes then flip blondies onto a cooling rack and remove parchment paper.  Once they are completely cool, cut and serve.

Brownies (makes 16 squares)

½ cup butter
3 oz. (90 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup all purpose flour
optional: ¼ cup chopped nuts of your choice

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch pan.

In a saucepan, melt together chocolate and butter.

Remove from heat and mix in the rest of the ingredients with a wooden spoon.

Spread in prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes.

For an easy icing, spread chocolate chips on the brownies as soon as they are out of the oven – they will melt and make a more decadent dessert!

Spreading the chocolate chip "icing"

You can cut and serve the brownies warm right out of the pan or let them chill in the refrigerator til the icing is dry, flip brownies onto a cutting board and cut them into squares.

Enjoy!

Making those brownies & blondies mingle

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