Repeat after me: Butter. Chocolate. Pecans. Coconut. Bourbon.
Again: Butter. Chocolate. Pecans. Coconut. Bourbon.
On Saturday night, we joined our friends Brendan and Danny for a screening of “Sunset Blvd.” at the Hollywood Forever cemetery. (You can read all about that in this week’s newsletter.) I was assigned the task of bringing a salad and a dessert. The salad was cous cous with roasted broccoli; let’s not dwell on that. Instead, let’s talk about the dessert… a dessert that featured (everyone!) butter, chocolate, pecans, coconut and Bourbon. A dessert so addictive no one could stop eating it.
It’s one of those books where the recipes seem so simple and basic and then you make them and POW…one little tweak (like adding Bourbon to blondies or cornmeal to pancakes) and you have to ask someone to restrain you so you don’t eat the whole batch of whatever you’re making. If I gain 20 pounds over the next week, I’m blaming this book.
This recipe starts, as all great dessert recipes do, with 2 sticks of butter, melted.
Meanwhile, you toast some coconut in the oven.
Mix that butter with brown sugar (2 cups of it):
Then you break out the good stuff:
After mixing in eggs, vanilla and Bourbon, you add a flour mixture (that contains baking powder and salt):
Then you work in more good stuff–the toasted coconut, chocolate chips and chopped pecans:
Combine and place in a parchment-lined 9 X 13 baking dish:
Bake until golden brown on top and, when you stab it with a knife, the knife should come out clean.
And that’s that. Let them cool for a while (it’s so much easier cutting up brownies or blondies when they’re completely cool) and cut them into bars.
The story might end here, but on Sunday night, we had our friends Jim and Jess over for dinner (you may recognize Jim from MTV) who just moved here from New York. After serving them Cavatappi with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (one of my favorite dishes of ALL TIME):
I made Drunk Blondie sundaes by putting a blondie at the bottom of a bowl, putting on a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topping everything with a Bourbon caramel sauce that I found from Food & Wine. BEHOLD:
There’s 1/2 a cup of Bourbon in that sauce so you really taste it and it helps draw out the Bourbon flavor in the blondies. But just by themselves, these blondies are worth making. Make them today, eat them tonight, and in your sleep you’ll find yourself muttering, to the chagrin of your bed partner, my new mantra:
Butter. Chocolate. Pecans. Coconut. Bourbon. Butter. Chocolate. Pecans. Coconut. Bourbon. Butter. Chocolate. Pecans. Coconut. Bourbon….
Recipe: Drunk Blondies
Summary: From the “Back in the Day Bakery” book.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Bourbon
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (pop into a 350 oven on a cookie sheet until fragrant and golden brown, about 7 minutes; watch it, though, it burns easily)
- 1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over two opposite edges of the pan. (This’ll help you lift it out later. Also, you might want to grease the parchment too… I did!)
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- Put the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir with a spoon until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and Bourbon; and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the flour mixture, followed by the pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (my batch took longer: closer to 35 minutes), until the top is golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut the blondies into bars. The blondies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12