Chef Emerson’s Brown Butter Blondie Bites

Blondie Bites Emme

If you love brownies you will love its vanilla forward cousin, the “blondie”. The texture and chewiness of a blondie resembles a traditional, fudgy brownie however, the cocoa is substituted for vanilla and brown sugar replaces the granulated sugar. Being a bonafide vanilla lover myself, I really enjoy the delicious flavor of a well executed blondie.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it’s super kid friendly so you can get your little chefs in the kitchen and let them have it! The recipe comes from a great, easy to follow cookbook for kids entitled, The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen which in my opinion, is one of the BEST cookbook publishers out there. Their recipes are always easy to follow, delicious and fail proof.

My daughter made these beauties all on her own and except for a few very minor substitutions, she followed the recipe as written.

Emme Blondie Baker

The nice thing about this recipe is that because the blondies are baked in individual muffin cups they both bake and cool much more quickly. To enhance the flavor and give the blondies a more complex, nutty flavor she decided to first brown the butter which turned out to be an excellent idea. It really added to the richness and overall flavor. She also substituted the white chocolate chips that were called for and instead used Heath® Bit o’ Brickle pieces. Needless to say, these were a big hit in our home. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed (light or dark) brown sugar
  • 8 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or Heath® Bit o’ Brickle pieces

Instructions

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and cooled melted butter until nice and smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

Add to the wet ingredients the flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to stir gently until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips or toffee pieces.

Using a spoon or cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups filling them up about halfway.

Bake for about 14-16 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven, place the blondie bites on a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

*To brown butter – In a light colored pan*, melt the desired amount of butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After 4-5 minutes the butter will begin to foam and bubble, keep stirring and watching it closely at this point. As the foaming begins to subside watch the color of the butter, once it looks slightly golden brown remove it from the heat and pour it into a bowl to cool. You will know the butter is browned and ready by the aroma, it should smell nutty and fragrant at this point.*

Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies

killer choc chip1_n

For Christmas this past year I received an awesome new cookbook by renowned pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini entitled, “Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking“. If you’re interested, you can get yourself a copy right hereIt’s packed with a ton of awesome tips and recipes for delicious treats such as a Pineapple Coconut Meringue Torte, Crumb Cake, Double Lemon Tarts, and the Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies that I made below. This book is great for experienced bakers but it’s also perfect for newbies because he takes a lot of time and care to explain technique while walking you through each recipe step-by-step. It’s a fantastic cookbook and I highly recommend adding it to your collection, it’s been a great addition to mine!

These cookies came out delicious, soft and chewy in the middle with a slight crisp on the edges. Everyone loved them, even my picky kids!! I followed the recipe as is however, I did not have Maldon sea salt for the garnish so I substituted with Fleur de Sel which is also a light, flaked salt. The only change that I would make in future batches of this cookie would be to decrease the amount of cinnamon to just a 1/4 tsp. I don’t care for a pronounced cinnamon flavor in my chocolate chip cookies but other than that small change these cookies were, as the name suggests, killer!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (232 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (110 grams) cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 14 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • Maldon sea salt, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and toss with your fingers until the butter is coated. Attach the paddle and beat the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until a thick paste forms with no visible butter lumps. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

With the mixer on low, add the egg and egg yolks one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the Kosher salt over the top. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture stopping frequently to scrape down the bowl. Mix until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate by hand.

Using a small (1/2 ounce) ice cream scoop, scoop level balls of dough and arrange them about 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. Use the bottom of a glass to slightly flatten the dough balls and then sprinkle a little Maldon salt over each cookie.

Bake for 12-13 minutes, rotating the pans once, until the cookies are just set and beginning to brown. Cool for 10 minutes on the pans before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Store the cookies in an airtight container, they will keep for up to 3 days.