Sweet Saturday: Chipper Blondie Bars
marked by or being in sprightly good humor and health.
marked by the presence of more than 2 types of chips in a baked good.
Lately I have been changing recipes just a tad and trying to figure out just how much can change without affecting the dish detrimentally. I changed the pasta last week too much with the addition of the sausage, but other than that it was yummy, so I will consider that to be a success!
I found the original recipe for these bars on King Arthur’s website. A lot of the recipes sound delicious but have mixed reviews, so I am often hesitant to try them. The combination of butter, brown sugar, and chocolate sounded like it just couldn’t miss…so I decided to give these Warm Chocolate Blondie Bars a try. I changed the mix-ins, but left the cookie base alone. I don’t feel quite ready to start messing with people’s baking ratios. I used chopped Hershey’s bars because they were on sale, white chocolate chips because I like them, and toffee pieces because they melt into pure deliciousness in a cookie.
The only other differences from the original recipe are that I didn’t use espresso powder or nuts. The recipe has the option of either all purpose or white whole wheat flour. I chose all purpose for 2 reasons: I didn’t have white whole wheat, and I didn’t want to replace it with whole wheat flour. I would consider half whole wheat and half all purpose, but a cookie with ALL whole wheat flour is often too hearty and a bit gritty for my liking. An oatmeal cookie with whole wheat flour works, but not a chocolate chip type cookie…in my opinion…which matters…very little.
One review called this a “glorified chocolate chip cookie” which she considered to be a bad thing. Can anyone tell me what is better than a good, sweet, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside cookie? I thought not…crazy lady. This isn’t a cookie, but it’s not totally a blondie either. It does have some characteristics of a blondie/brownie like the gooey center and crunchy top. I’m not sure why, but it could be the melted butter, or maybe the combination of dry ingredients, or it could be that the sugar in the bars is mainly brown with a bit of plain granulated sugar. There is an 8:1 ratio of brown to white sugar, so the bars come out very moist. I liked the big chunks of Hershey’s chocolate in these bars. The white chips were smaller and less noticable, so I would consider using chopped white chocolate next time. The toffee chips aren’t noticeable in the texture, but they provide a richer flavor.
I baked these in a 9×13, so they were a bit over an inch thick. The top was crunchy and the inside was gooey. They are delicious at room temperature and also very tasty warmed for a bit in the microwave and served with vanilla ice cream. So good.
Chipper Blondie Bars
- 2/3 cup (1 1/3 sticks, 5 1/4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pound (2 cups, firmly packed) brown sugar, light or dark
- 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vinegar, white or cider
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 3/4 cups (11 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) chocolate chunks (I used two 4 oz. Hershey bars)
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup toffee chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10″ x 15″ jelly roll pan or 9″ x 13″ pan.
- Combine the butter, sugars, salt, and vinegar, stirring to combine. If the mixture is super-hot from the melted butter, let it cool to lukewarm. Add the eggs, vanilla, and baking powder, beating well. Stir in the flour, mixing thoroughly, then the chocolate, white chocolate and toffee pieces.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the bars for 30 minutes (for the jelly roll pan), or about 38 minutes (for the 9″ x 13″ pan), until the top is golden and shiny, and the center is just barely baked through. Use the sharp tip of a knife to peek into the center; it should be very damp, but not unbaked.
- Remove the bars from the oven, and cool to lukewarm before cutting. A plastic knife will glide right through these sticky bars without tearing them. Serve with ice cream, if desired. To serve bars warm after they’ve cooled, reheat briefly in the microwave, or slip them into a toaster bag and pop into the toaster. Yield: 24 bars from the 9″ x 13″ pan, 35 bars from the 10″ x 15″ pan.