I hated yogurt as a child. It was much too tangy and reminded me of sour milk. My mom understood the concept of hiding healthy stuff (yogurt) with stuff kids like (sugar), and taught me that I could jazz up plain or vanilla yogurt by adding a little brown sugar. I was immediately sold.
Not on yogurt, but on making my yogurt a vehicle for brown sugar.
My mother would apply the brown sugar in the appropriate ratios, taking a container of yogurt and adding a little sprinkling of brown sugar on top. Just enough that I could see sugar was involved. If I managed to get my hands on the sugar spoon, I would mix a large tablespoon of brown sugar into my yogurt with another scoop on top. And sometimes halfway through (after all the brown sugar topping was gone) I would find it too tangy again and add a little bit more.
This was not exactly what my mom had in mind for me and yogurt, so I tried to be sneaky about it. As a mom, she probably knew anyway. She can let you know.
From that day forth, so began my love affair with brown sugar. I loved its deep flavour, its ability to be sweet without being as cloyingly sweet as white sugar (I should know as it would appear that I ate both straight as a child).
The first time I ran into a blondie, it wasn’t very good. I didn’t even realize it was supposed to be brown sugar flavoured, I thought it was just a plain bar dessert, as if someone found a brownie and took all the fun out. I was quick to disregard them overall as a dessert.
Then I discovered they were supposed to be like brown sugar versions of brownies.
How could this be? How could my ever so dear brown sugar have failed me as the star in a baked good, simply tasting like a glorifed sugar cookie? The flaw in my thinking was suddenly clear. The blondies of my past had been store bought, supermarket blondies. Sometimes you can find deliciousness in the bakery aisle. This was not one of those times.
I baked an especially gooey looking recipe and blondies quickly gained a place in my heart. They reminded me of my childhood and my first spoonfuls of yogurt out of the container. The ones that were 95% brown sugar and 5% vanilla yogurt.
I will never doubt you again brown sugar. I’m sorry we ever fought.
I ♥ Brown Sugar Blondies
Adapted from Bobby Flay
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, plus butter for pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup heath chips (Chopped up heath bars work just as well if you don’t have heath chips in your grocery store!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line an 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter the lining too.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan; add both sugars and whisk until combined and sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Add the flour and whisk until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips, heath bar and transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top cracks slightly and is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist pieces clinging to it. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment handles, transfer to a cutting board and cut into 2-inch squares.