Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chocolate Chip Rye Blondies

So, the first time I made blondies was a little over two years ago. Guess who they were baked for? Yup, DFJ. We just started getting to know each other then… he was the hot guy at the gym who happened to like inviting me over for dinner once a week at his place. 

One day, I wanted to do something sweet for him and baked some blondies that unfortunately, didn’t turn out quite right. They were not bad, just a little hard and not too sweet. I had second thoughts about giving them to him, but what was I to do? Eat them all or give them to my coworkers and pretend that I made it for them? Uh-uh! So, even though the blondies were just so-so, I drove over to his house after working out at the gym (he lived close). My brain kept telling me to just forget about it and drive home. But my instinct refused to listen. I wanted him to know that, that…

All of a sudden, I had a stroke of brilliance! What fixes a subpar baked good? Duh, ice cream! So, I drove to the grocery store, picked up some vanilla ice cream, went to his apartment, and walked to his door with determination. When I got there, I lost all the nerve and wondered if he had another girl over or if he was in the middle of something. Perhaps I did not want to know…? I dropped off the bag of blondies and the tub of ice cream, climbed back in my car, called him and told him to open his front door. After we hung up, I drove home. Smooth move, huh? Well, we are still dating! It must have worked!

Fast forward to the present… Blondies, take two! DFJ’s mom gave me Ina Garten’s newest cookbook, Foolproof, for Christmas and I love it! Many recipes will be cooked from this book and I figured that a good place to start would be her Chocolate Chunk Blondies. It took me forever to get started because I had to thumb through my other cookbooks and browse online to find a blondie recipe that uses less sugar than Ina’s. All the recipes I found require more sugar and even less flour… yikes! As much as I wanted to follow her recipe to the tee, circumstances did not allow me to do so. I didn’t have any chocolate chunks, just chocolate chips; not enough walnuts; and some rye flour that needed to be used. Remember when I swore off all-purpose flour a long time ago? Well, I have some now. DFJ bought some for the birthday cake he made for me and we have lots of it left over. If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know I hate wasting, so naturally, I had to use the all-purpose flour too.

Even with all these substitutions and omissions, my blondies rock! You really can’t go wrong if you follow Ina’s basic recipe. These blondies are awesome on their own and I am confident to tell you that you don’t need ice cream to cover up any imperfections… There are none, if I may say so myself. But I won’t hold it against you if you add a scoop of ice cream on top!    

Chocolate Chip Rye Blondies (Makes 16-28 blondies, depending on what size you want them!)
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Chocolate Chunk Blondies, Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup rye flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, 8 oz
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup ultrafine sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 8 oz
1 cup chopped walnuts

a tad of butter for greasing

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, and salt. Carefully move the dry mixture to a sifter or a strainer and sift back into the bowl (make sure to catch the ingredients that will go through the holes). Whisk well again and set aside.  

Place the butter and sugars in a separate, large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars on high speed until it turns light and fluffy, about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Using a flexible, rubber spatula, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Pour in the vanilla and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed for a minute each. Scrape the bowl again before and after the addition and mixing of each egg.  

Add the flour mixture one cup at a time and mix on low until everything is just incorporated (meaning, you can see streaks of flour) or well incorporated (no streaks of flour left). *See explanation below.* Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well combined. 

Stop for a moment to move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom, sides, and corners of a deep, baking pan (I used a 13x9x2 cake pan) with butter.

Gently fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts into the batter using a flexible, rubber spatula. Drop big dollops of the thick batter all over the pan. Spread the batter as evenly as you can, until every inch of the pan is covered. Smooth the top. Bake for exactly 30 minutes. Any minute longer and the blondies will overcook and harden! Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in a few spots. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done. If you happen to stab a chocolate chip, the toothpick will come out messy, so pick a different spot. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let it cool completely before cutting into squares.           

*If you want your blondies on the fudgy side, do not overmix the batter. If you want your blondies cakey, mix until everything is well incorporated.*   

P.S. These blondies are great with your morning coffee and perfect for after-dinner-Netflix time! 
Have a great MLK weekend friends!

1 comment:

  1. Haha, nice! Who wouldn't want goodies dropped at their door?
    I have never made blondies before, but I have got to tell you, yours look divine. I also have rye flour that I want to use up, and this is the perfect way! All I need to do is make 10 batches ;)(this rye flour was originally for a sourdough starter and, like you, I hate to waste)


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