Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ultimate Blondies

Do you ever wonder how much is too much for a cookie, blondie, or brownie? I mean, just how much can one pan of blondies handle? How much is too much?

I kept asking myself these questions as I made this batch, but I also kept adding stuff to them. I found the base recipe on Smitten Kitchen -- just very basic blondie recipe that she swore was the best one out there -- and then, at the bottom of her post, she added a list of things that you might consider adding. With this one base recipe, you could use your imagination and create something completely different and unique based on what you felt like, and what you had in your cupboards. I happen to have a lot in my cupboards, so I got a bit creative (some might call it carried away...)

I thought about chocolate, coconut and pecans with some bourbon, but figured I could save that for later... instead I wanted to use some of the bananas I had laying around. I also wanted some peanut butter with my bananas, and since it's me, chocolate chips are required. I suppose I could have left it there, I mean, that's already quite a bit going on for one little blondie recipe... but no, I couldn't let it go.

In the end I also added a 1/4 cup of Caramel Flavored Irish Cream -- for no other reason than I could and I figured it wouldn't hurt anything. I also wanted more crunch, so I threw in pecans. I thought about naming this post Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Pecan, Caramel Irish Cream Blondies... but it seemed a bit much, so I just went with Ultimate Blondies.

So what's the verdict? Yum. The blondies are rich, dense, and moist with a prominent banana flavor that is balanced by the chocolate chips and the peanut butter. The pecans add the crunch that I love, and there is just a faint flavor in the background that most people won't be able to identify -- you probably wouldn't miss it if it wasn't there, but I know it's there, and I know what it is, which is enough for me. :)

The recipe I'm posting is the one I used. If you want the original recipe with original variations, follow the link above, or go here.

Once again, thanks to Deb from Smitten Kitchen for making my day a little brighter.

8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup (1 medium) banana, mashed
1/4 cup Irish Cream (Caramel Flavored if you have it)
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour (if you omit the liquor, just use 1 cup flour)
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350.

Butter an 8 x 8 pan (or double the recipe and use a 9 x13).

Mix the melted butter with the brown sugar -- beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix until smooth. Next add the banana, Irish Cream and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add the flour and salt and stir until incorporated. Add the chips and nuts until everything is mixed in.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set in the middle. I checked mine after 20, but they baked for about 25.


Grace said...

caramel-flavored irish cream? holy guacamole, yes please! i'm sure that sent these already-luscious blondies over the top! :)

burkie said...

you're out of control, maddog!
sorry i missed out :(

giz said...

Yup, you've covered everything that I hold holy in a sweet treat. They look totally delicious and we all know blondes have more fun.

Madam Chow said...

Oh, lordie, this triggers the urge to bake, yet again! Fabulous!