Take one basic blondie formula and create 3 indulgent, delicious variations!
The premise here is simple: when you have one loyal, never-fail recipe that you've made time after time, you love and appreciate it's continuity, but it can get a little boring. But with a bit of creativity and variation, you can have a unique and exciting result every time you bake!
I can't think of anything that you shouldn't toss into a blondie batter. Well except the obvious, like nothing gross. But any sweet add-in will probably work wonderfully with the neutral (yet still incredible) vanilla of a classic blondie. In this post, I'll introduce you to my 3 favourites - Butterscotch & Candied Walnut, Cardamom & White Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lover's.
So first, the basic formula for the blondie base. Each recipe will use this same exact recipe and method. Bake time should be around the same for each as well, give or take a few minutes.
Butterscotch and Candied Walnut
I suggest candying your walnuts prior to starting the batter so that they're nice and cool when you're ready to throw them in. This is a really simple candying method, nothing fancy (aka proper.) Just toss 1/2 cup of walnuts in a frying pan with 2 Tbsp brown sugar, a teaspoon or two of butter and a little bit of water. Like, maybe a teaspoon. Toss them around until they're sufficiently caramelized and sticky, then remove them from the pan and let them cool. Chop beforehand or afterwards, whateva you want.
Stir 3/4 cup butterscotch chips and your cooled, candied walnuts into the blondie batter and pour into pan. Bake, let them cool pretty much completely, then cut and go crazy.
Cardamom and White Chocolate
These blondies are perfect for when you're trying to sound like you're a fan of the finer things, like loose teas and designer socks. That's what fancy people like, right? Well anyway, even if you're not faux fancy (or if you actually are a real life fancy person) this variation has a sweet punch of flavour from the fragrant cardamom. Cardamom can be a surprisingly loud spice, so don't get too generous with it.
Combine 1/2 cup white sugar with 1/2 tsp cardamom (a touch more if you're a devoted fan) and chop up a generous 1/2 cup white chocolate. You can also use white chocolate chips, if you'd like. Samesies. Stir the white chocolate into the blondie batter and pour 1/2 of it into your prepared pan. Make sure you get it pretty well spread into the corners of the pan. Sprinkle half of the cardamom sugar over the blondie. Pour and spread the remaining batter on top and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over top. As this blondie bakes, the sugar melts and crystallizes into a flavourful, crispy topping. Don't let their seemingly unremarkable appearance fool you, these are delicious.
Peanut Butter Lover's
If you're not yet aware, peanut butter is almost as dear to me as my 3 beautiful daughters. Does that make me a bad mom? No. Listen closely to the things I whisper under my breath and you'll know what makes me a bad mom. (Kidding. Sort of.) Does it make me a bonafide lover of peanut butter? Absolutely. (If you're thinking OMG SAME right now, check out my PB Cups post and thank me later.)
Stir 1/2 cup each of Reese's Pieces, chocolate-covered peanuts and peanut butter chips into your blondie batter. Pour into a prepared pan. Melt 1/4 cup of peanut butter in the microwave until it's nice and runny. Drizzle over batter and drag a knife through it a couple of times to swirl. Once baked, the PB wont be super visibly noticeable, but you wont be able to miss the flavour.
So bake, cool, eat them until you feel sick or your morality tells you to stop, whichever is stronger.
And that's it, each recipe is super simple and sure to impress. These taste much more complex than they are, so if you're serving them to guests or something, act exhausted. Let me know if you try these yourself, I'd really love to hear from you! Or just drop me a comment or two, it's cool to know who all is out there. Enjoy!