Brownies get all the glory but it is time for their slightly lighter cousin blondies to get their day in the sun.
Luckily we have a recipe that will make you forget all about brownies. Claire Ptak from the Violet Bakery in London has a new cookbook out (the aptly name Violet Bakery Cookbook) and she shares her recipe in the video above and in the text below!
Violet Butterscotch Blondies
Makes 12 blondies
250g (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
300g (1¾ cups) light brown sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
240g (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
125g (4½ ounces) milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
75g (2½ ounces) caramel shards (page 238)
Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (140°C/285°F convection). Butter a 30 by 20-cm (12 by 8-inch) baking pan and line with parchment paper.
Gently melt the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed pan and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until frothy,then whisk in the melted butter.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and add to the egg and butter mixture along with the milk chocolate pieces. Mix until just combined.
Pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan and smooth the top with an icing spatula or rubber spatula. Sprinkle the caramel shards over the top and bake for 30 minutes. The center should be puffed and set but still a little gooey.
Leave to cool completely in the pan, then cut into 12 thick but smallish pieces. These keep well for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
We use these shards in our Butterscotch Blondies (page 143,) but you could add them to almost any cake, cookie, or bar and, of course, they would be awesome in brownies. Any leftovers can be kept in a plastic container in the freezer for up to three months.
Makes enough for 24 blondies
2 tablespoons water
150g (¾ cup) sugar
Have a sheet of parchment paper ready on a heatproof surface. Measure the 2 tablespoons of water into a heavy-bottomed pan. Cover with the sugar and place over medium-low heat until the sugar starts to dissolve. Resist the temptation to stir the pan, as this can cause crystallization. Once the sugar starts to dissolve, turn up the heat to medium-high until the sugar is a dark golden brown.
Pour the caramel onto the parchment paper in a thin and even layer. Leave to cool, then use a sharp knife to chop into smallish shards. Be careful, as the caramel can be quite hard.
Use right away or store in a plastic bag or sealed container in the freezer. Do not store it in the fridge or it will soften, melt together, and become tacky.