I’m one of those people that thinks it’s really fun to be in the kitchen all day, whipping up something fancy and delicious. I love desserts with multiple steps and ingredients, I can plan every detail out weeks in advance. Perfect example, my birthday cake. It required cake, chocolate ganache, vanilla bean mousse, and vanilla butter cream. And it was awesome. But I’m also one of those people that can be sitting on the couch and have an immediate urge to bake something. In those times I need something quick, reliable, delicious, and maybe even versatile. That’s why I think every baker, beginner, novice, advanced, whatever, should have a few basic go-to recipes.
I think the staple “basic” recipes in baking are Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies, Blondies, and good Yellow and Chocolate Cake. I’ve already shared my go-to Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brownies, and thought that in the next few weeks (while I’m totally overwhelmed with packing, preparing, cleaning and looking for a good reason to procrastinate on those things) I’d share my baking go-tos. Because that’s the point of them, they’re not overly complicated, they don’t take a ton of time, and they’re still delicious. Good basics, that I can whip up while procrastinating packing.
These Blondies can made in one bowl and are great jumping off point for pretty much any flavor combination. When I made these I had a handful of random chips that I threw in, butterscotch, white chocolate, and semi-sweet, but really the sky is the limit. Have left over Christmas or Halloween candy? Chop it up and throw it in. In the mood for nuts? Chop them up and throw them in. Go wild and get creative!
The only other thing I want to add is that I have a horrible habit of way under-cooking my Blondies. I usually take mine out a minute or two less than the written time because I like it when the center is barely done and gooey and messy. Before I was able to stack these for the picture I actually had to throw them in the fridge to firm up. If that’s not how you like them then don’t take them out early and make sure to test with a toothpick. If it comes out clean you should be good. If it looks wet or comes out with dough on it, let it cook a few minutes longer.
7 Tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 – 1 cup mix-in of your choice (I used chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.
In a large microwave safe bowl melt the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and stir to combine. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Add 1 cup of flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined. Toss the mix-ins with 1 Tbsp flour and fold into the batter. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into squares.