A couple weeks ago, I was baking chocolate chip cookies with kids in summer camp, and our baking conditions were rudimentary, to say the least. We needed to bake 48 cookies in a convection oven large enough to bake, say, 2 pans of 12 cookies. So, simple math, half the batter was in, half was out. What to do? I poured the remaining batter into the little tray with sides that goes into the convection oven. And, guys, it was fabulous. This is the one the kids wanted: The Blondie Bar.
Back home, even with all the oven room I needed, I tinkered with the recipe, to obtain a sort of cookie tart that would give me a more dramatic presentation that the humble cookie. I thought the amount of sweetness that worked so well for Chocolate Chip Cookies needed to be reduced for the perfect bar. So I cut the sugar by half and never looked back, left everything else exactly as is, folded toasted walnuts into the batter, poured the batter into a tart pan, and waited impatiently for my blondies. Yum! Since my taste is always for a decidedly less sweet flavor, I greatly welcome the blondie variation.
This will work very well with gluten-free flour as well.
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar or Sucanat
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups flour: all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or spelt. Gluten-Free OK
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips, best quality
- ½ chopped toasted walnuts or pecans, optional (12 minutes in a 325 degree oven)
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Cream the eggs and sugars in a food processor or with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the oil and vanilla and mix in thoroughly. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and pulse (or mix at low speed) until just combined. Fold in the chips and nuts (if using) by hand.
Pour the batter into a greased 12 inch round or square pan (or the closest you have). Bake 15 minutes. Let it cool. Cut into bars or wedges. Do NOT refrigerate. Store at room temperature, or freeze, tightly wrapped.