Thursday, April 16, 2015

Brownies and Blondies


Here's another easy bar recipe. I often take Zebra Brownies or these bars to potlucks because there are always lots of plain brownies. Lining the pan with foil makes it easy to remove bars and cut evenly. 

The opposite of a brownie is a blondie—the colors are different but the texture of the bars is similar. It is much easier to determine doneness in the blondies than in the brownies. If the blondies are not done, you can see the batter move under the top crust when you shake the pan. Because of the high amount of sugar in these bars, the edges rise and get dark and chewy—I think this is the best part!

Makes 36 bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup butterscotch chips (6 ounces)
1 cup cashew halves and pieces, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 350°F with oven rack in middle. Line bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil about 2 inches beyond pan on each long side. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Combine brown sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl and stir slowly to mix. Add eggs and mix with a wire whisk until well blended. Slowly stir in flour mixture until it is moistened. Beat with wire whisk 30 seconds until smooth.
Add butterscotch chips and cashews. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until center seems set when touched lightly with a finger. The blondies will also start to pull away from pan edges. When checking, shake the pan a little and see if batter jiggles. A toothpick will come out dry. Cool in pan on wire cooling rack.
Remove blondies intact from pan by loosening ends with a metal spatula and lifting out, using the aluminum foil. Cut into bars. Make sure foil is not stuck on bottom of any blondies.

Baker’s Note: When you combine the brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla, mix until smooth, crushing any lumps of brown sugar.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Browned Butter Weekend Cake

For Christmas I received a copy of Baking Chez Moi by Doris Greenspan. The recipes are a result of the many years she has lived in Paris.

A group of bakers are baking on Tuesdays and posting on their blogs. It's fun for me to experience the differencs between European baking and American. This week we baked Browned Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake.

This cake is moist and tender and similar to a pound cake. When browning butter use low heat and pour out the butter into a bowl when you remove it from the heat.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Winner

This is the Orange Bundt Cake that won the Blue Ribbon at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair. Easy to make it is perfect to have on for unexpected guests.

This is the first time I've made it with just-picked oranges from my son's back yard. We're celebrating the holidays with sunshine not snow this year!