Thursday, April 17, 2008
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
I really do have an ideal test audience for my baked goods (or, bads) - my work mates are 90% men - which means: high-baked-goods-consumption-rate. Plus, a man takes a bite - and, shockingly, may tell you what it tastes like or if he likes it. Ah! The raw, unencumbered honesty. Like a cool, wet cloth on a feverish day.
I made these hunks the other day and one of my co-workers, "T", comes up to me immediately after trying them and says:
"I don't know whether I should thank you, or be mad at you." Love it. Could there be a better compliment? It felt like the opposite of a slap in the face.
Later, T approaches me after another helping, and says (in reference to whether he prefers the bars with just the white chocolate chips alone or the bars with the white chips and the semi-sweet chocolate chips):
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Thanks for the title, T.
Now, I realize white chocolate is often considered tres gauche, but, Tony recently had a delightfully sinful "Blondie" (not...er...human) at one of our favorite al fresco joints - and I, of course, being the loving, devoted, (read: just bought expensive new camera), positively adoring wife that I strive to be - immediately sought to make the perfect Blondie Bar for my positively adored hubby. So, since it's all-Tony-all-the-time, these are for him...
I feel all empty inside about this post. I didn't throw Tony under the bus about anything. It's like I've turned black inside. I don't even know who I am anymore.
I need a depressant.
White Chocolate Blondies
Now, the original recipe - like most Blondies - called for both white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips. I made 1/2 the batter with both, and 1/2 the batter with just the white chocolate chips. Hands down, everyone said they liked the version with just the white chocolate chips. I wholeheartedly agree. What happens, when you add regular chocolate - is that you cannot taste the white chocolate at all, so they become a moot chocolate, so to speak. The white chocolate only version, on their own, made all of us a little crazy - and, they disappeared by about 10:30am, a record in the office.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups white chocolate chips
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and fit aluminum foil into the pan, lining the bottom and sides - leaving enough overhang to pull bars out of pan after baking; spray foil with nonstick spray.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl, set aside. Whisk the melted and brown sugar in a medium bowl until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Using a spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture just until combined. Don't overmix. Fold in white chocolate chips, then turn the batter into the pan, smoothing the top with spatula.
Bake until the top is shiny and feels firm to the touch, about 22-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Using the foil, remove bars from the pan, cut into desired size, and indulge!
Adapted from Baking Illustrated.