January 22nd is National Blonde Brownie Day, and May 9th is National Butterscotch Brownie Day. Both are earlier names for a blondie. Some blondies have chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee chips, or an assortment. Nuts are optional.
We recently received a gift of maple syrup, and were checking out our list of ways to use maple syrup. We settled on this recipe we’ve been wanting to try, for Maple Syrup Blondies from Lauryn Cohen of BellaBaker.com.
We actually prefer blondies with chocolate chunks to brownies. Lauryn prefers toffee bits in her blondies.
In this recipe, she substituted maple syrup for the toffee. As she explains, it gives the same sweet, caramelized flavor throughout the whole base of the blondie, rather than just in little toffee pockets. She also added in some cinnamon, chocolate chips, and coconut.
The result, she says, “a golden, sweet, amazingly fantastic blondie.”
> The history of blondies is below.
Maple syrup blondies with lots of chocolate chips (photo and recipe © Bella Baker).
1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch Pyrex baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. WHISK together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. CREAM the butter and both sugars together in a large bowl, using electric beaters on medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the maple syrup and vanilla; then reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add in the dry ingredients.
4. SWITCH to a rubber spatula and add the chocolate, coconut, and walnuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and slightly separated from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan.
Blondies may have preceded brownies.
The first bar recipes that became brownies with added chocolate were made with molasses, giving them a dark hue. In the 19th century, they were called molasses bars.
The name “brownie” came later, honoring the elfin characters created by Palmer Cox that were featured in popular books, stories, cartoons and verses of the time. The Eastman Kodak Brownie camera was also named after these elves.
The addition of chocolate was an early-20th-century innovation (here’s the history of brownies). Around mid-century, molasses brownies became known as blonde brownies, a name soon shortened to blondies.
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