Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Blondies

If I need to make something and I'm kind of in a hurry, I love to make bars.  Yes, they take longer to bake than cookies, but you only have to watch one tray of bars, and when it's done, it's done.  No second batch, nothing.  The other nice thing is that you can make them a day ahead, and as long as you don't cut them, and wrap them up and stick them in the fridge, they will taste just as fresh the next day.  Because of this, it makes it okay that you can't even think of cutting them until they are totally cool. 

I made these bars for a concert that we went to with some friends.  I wasn't really feeling like making something chocolatey, and I had seen this recipe in my googly reader.  I added a handful of white chocolate chips, because, well, I can't leave well enough alone.  I liked the addition.

These bars were pretty tasty, but nothing special.  They had a nice cinnamony flavor, and were soft on the inside, with a crunchy exterior, just like a good bar should be.  However, they were not that popular.  Everyone in the group had one, but I had leftovers.  That doesn't usually happen.  If I choose to make these again, I will probably do something to bump up the flavor.

One little thing: the original recipe for these calls the "Snickerdoodle Blondies".  However, they don't contain any cream of tartar, and for me, that one little ingredient makes them taste like snickerdoodles, and not just cinnamon and sugar.  I didn't have the time to mess around with the recipe, so I'm just going to call these Cinnamon Sugar blondies.

Side note: See that flower in the photo?  It's from my plumeria plant, Plantly. He was a gift from my parents 4 years ago, and I have managed to not kill him, so during the summer, he rewards me with pretty flowers!

Cinnamon Sugar Blondies
Source: Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Makes 24 blondies

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips, if using, and give the dough one final stir to ensure any flour on the bottom of the bowl is incorporated.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan. Spread in an even layer - I like to use my fingertips to spread the dough. I just put a piece of plastic wrap between my fingers and the dough so it won't be too sticky (fp note: do it this way. this note is from the source, and it works better than any other way i tried). Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the surface of the blondies springs back when gently pressed (fp note: i don't think this is a good method.  on mine, the cinnamon sugar topping formed a crust, and i couldn't tell just by pressing if they were done.  bake them until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.). Remove the pan to a wire rack and let the blondies cool completely before cutting.

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