Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Belgian Blondies

I have been trying different bar cookie recipes recently.  Last week I had tried a recipe for Margarita Lime bars that had an error on the liquid ratio, so the edges set up fine but the center was just a pool. There was no saving it, I even tried to microwave it so the center would get done, but that did not work.

Anyhow, this particular recipe did turn out to be a success.  The bars are rich, buttery and full of delicious white chocolate.  The recipe instructions had a method in which to melt the chocolate.  However when I made these, there was a certain amount of chunks that did not melt, which makes them perfect for the person that loves white chocolate.

The rich flavor makes them perfect paired with black coffee.  Also, forget the shortbread and serve these squares with a bowl of strawberries.

Belgian Blondies
adapted from Tea with Bea

1 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs or 2 3/4 sticks of butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb white chocolate (chopped into pea sized pieces)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup of sugar
1 3/4 cup of flour
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 340 degrees.  Grease an 8X12 inch baking pan and line bottom with parchment, leaving an overhang on 2 sides so the bars can be lifted out of the pan prior to cutting.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and let come to a boil.  Place the chocolate pieces in a heat proof bowl and pour in the melted butter.  Stir until most or all of the chocolate is melted.  Set aside.

In another bowl,  blend eggs, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour in the chocolate mixture and stir. In another bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.  Then fold dry ingredients into the chocolate batter until no dry streaks remain.

Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface.  Place pan in oven and bake for 28-33 minutes.  The bars are done when golden brown on top but still retain a gooey center.

Remove pan from oven and place pan on cooling rack.  After 1 hour, place pan in the refrigerator for  2 hours to set up.  After two hours, remove pan from refrigerator and run a knife down between the pan and the blondies on the sides without parchment paper.  Then lift out blondies and cut into squares for serving.

Tips and notes:
1. You can use a 9X13 size pan, but watch on the baking time. Also with a bigger pan, the blondies will not have the same height.
2. Do not use baking chips.  They are a different blend than the actual white bar chocolate and will not work in this recipe.  Use good quality white chocolate bars.
3. For a smoother bar with no chunks of white chocolate, use a grater disc in a food processer to grind the chocolate to insure that all chocolate will be melted with the hot butter.
                                  **LAST YEAR:Butter Cupcakes**