Monday, January 02, 2012

Baking Week One: Almost Famous Blondies

So over the past few months I've become addicted to a site called Reddit.  For anyone not familiar with it, the site has "subreddits" that you go to or subscribe to and read things people post.  Sometimes it is links to articles or blogs, sometimes it is adorable pictures (the aww subreddit is awesome), sometimes it is just someone's interesting perspective, rant or question. 

Well, among the many, many subreddits I've discovered two particular ones that you'll be seeing regularly here.  One is 52 Weeks of Baking and the other is 52 Weeks of Cooking.  Both work with the premise that each week is a new theme and the participants will make something within this theme and post it to the subreddit.  I'm challenging myself to do AT LEAST one of these challenges each week and I'm hoping to do both.  We'll see when it comes to cooking challenges where I completely DESPISE the ingredient for the challenge. 

Anyways though, for the baking challenge this week's challenge was brownies for which I decided to try Almost-Famous Maple-Butter Blondies from the March 2010 issue of Food Network Magazine. 

They came out delicious!!  I didn't follow the recipe exactly (when do I ever?) but I'm here to share it with you.

10 Tbsp. room temp unsalted butter
1 c. walnut pieces
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
6 oz. white chocolate (recipe called for chunks, I used chips)

There was also a recipe for a topping (when you get the famous version at Applebees it has this, but I wasn't feeling it when I decided to bake)

My altered Steps:
1. preheat oven to 350 and line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray it with nonstick spray

2.  Pulse 1/2 c. of walnuts in a food processor until almost fine.  Do not overprocess.  I screwed this up and wound up roughly processing the full cup.  I wound up with probably 1/2 of my walnuts almost fine and half in chunks but all together.  Worked fine.  

3.  Whisk ground nuts, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.

4.  Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  

5.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Scraping down sides as needed

6.  Beat in vanilla.

7.  Gradually beat in dry ingredients until just combined

 8.  Fold in white chocolate and nuts.

9.  Spread in pan and bake 25-30 minutes.  They should be light brown around the edges and spring back when pressed.  Cool Slightly on wire rack.  Enjoy!

Baking Week One complete!  Stay tuned for this weeks cooking challenge: eggs. 

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