Editor’s Note: This recipe comes from Melissa Weller’s wonderful new book, A Good Bake (Knopf, 2020; $40). Melissa is a former scientist, and her approach to baking reflects her background – the recipes are written with meticulous detail, as you will see from the one below. Here are Melissa’s notes, along and her extra-enticing blondie recipe.
“I’m not always a fan of blondies. I often find them to be too sweet, but these are different. First, they are made with salted butter. Then they are dotted with raspberry jam, which is a bit tart, and sprinkled with sea salt, so they have a nice balance, and in my opinion, they really break the blondie mold.”
Special equipment: 8 x 12-inch baking pan
- 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
- 8 ounces (226 grams) milk chocolate (or use 1¼ cups milk chocolate chips)
- 1 ½ cups lightly packed (300 grams) dark brown sugar
- 2 large (100 grams) eggs
- 16 tablespoons (226 grams) salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (145 grams) raspberry jam
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, (such as Maldon), for sprinkling
- Arrange the oven racks so one is in the center position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8- x 12-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Unless you are using chocolate chips, chop the chocolate into ⅜-inch pieces. Pass the chocolate through a fine-mesh strainer to sift out any dust and discard the dust.
Make the batter:
- Combine the brown sugar and eggs in a medium bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth and lightened in color. Gradually add the butter, stirring with the whisk as you add the butter and taking care that it doesn’t slosh out of the bowl. Use the whisk to stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and fold it in with a rubber spatula until almost no flour is visible. Add the chocolate and fold it in until the chocolate is evenly distributed and no flour is visible.
Bake the blondies:
- Using a rubber spatula, transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Use the spatula to get the batter into the corners of the pan and to smooth out the top. Drop the jam in ½-teaspoon-size drops, distributing it over the surface of the batter. Draw a small paring knife back and forth through the batter, running it through the jam across the length of the pan and then back across the sides. Sprinkle the salt, if you are using it, over the top.
- Place the blondies on the center rack of the oven to bake for about 30 minutes, until the batter has puffed up, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Remove the pan from the oven and put it on a cooling rack; let the blondies cool to room temperature in the pan. Use a large knife to cut the blondies into 24 equal pieces.
- The blondies may not look completely set when they come out of the oven. Not over baking them is the secret to a moist, chewy texture. Store the blondies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Excerpted from A Good Bake by Melissa Weller. Copyright © 2020 by Melissa Weller. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.