As the cloudy days continue and all hope is goodness is sapped from my body, I took a suggestion from my brother that would benefit all: make some praline blondies. Blondies are not an area I’ve explored too heavily. When I think about them, I think about when people just put some Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix in a brownie pan and call it a day. But there are some very classy types, like the ones I just made. I found the recipe on Real Simple and as the site suggests, the process was real simple. Despite being simple, I want to emphasize the subtle elegance of these blondies. They’re like the Princess Di of bar-shaped desserts. They’re sweet at heart and have a magnificent topping (in this case, candied pecans to a royal crown).
After having a couple of these warlocks I can assure everyone that they are indeed amazing. Even tossed on in the microwave for 15 seconds and that made for a warm, milk-worthy treat.
Here’s the recipe from Real Simple with my candied pecans tweak:
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with the cooking spray. Line the pan with 2 crisscrossed pieces of parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides; spray the parchment with the cooking spray.
- Make the blondie: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and mix in the brown sugar and vanilla. One at a time, mix in the eggs; mix in the flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix).
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 25 to 28 minutes. Cool completely in the pan.
- To candy pecans, set oven to 300° F. In a medium bowl, mix together salt, sugar, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white, water, and vanilla until the mixture gets frothy. Add pecans to the wet ingredients and toss until they are evenly coated. Then add the dry ingredients and toss again until evenly coated. Spread pecans on a parchment paper lined baking pan in a single layer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring them around every 10 minutes. Let cool and set aside.
- Make the praline topping: In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbling, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla, 1 tablespoon of water, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread over the cooled blondies and sprinkle with the candied pecans, pressing them in slightly. Let the topping set, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Holding both sides of the paper overhang, lift the cake out of the pan, transfer to a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares. Store the blondies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.