No, I'm not talking about my choice in hair color; I'm talking about a new dessert idea that occurred to me today. I give you...fake blondes...or double-decker brownies...or blonde-brownies...whatever you want to call them. Basically, we have a blondie cooked on top of a brownie--a perfect marriage of buttery caramel and fudgy chocolate in a ooey-gooey-chewy, thick cookie bar. I call them fake blondes because at the root of every fake blonde is some brown, or in this case, a brownie.
If I could bake myself into a dessert, this would be it. Two halves of my one self: buttery caramel on one side and rich dark chocolate on the other. This has got to be my favorite flavor combination. You may be a peanut butter/chocolate person or a mint/chocolate person or, heaven forbid, a fruit/chocolate person. (I rarely mix fruit and chocolate; that's like mixing business and pleasure.)
I've baked plenty of blondies before, and I've tried to jazz them up in a lot of ways: adding white chocolate chips or nuts, sandwiching them with chocolate ganache, serving them with ice cream, you get the idea. This is my favorite variation, hands down. These will definitely be a repeat in my house.
All you do is whip up some brownies, top them with blondies, and bake. I used recipes from the Williams-Sonoma Cookie Cookbook, in case you were wondering.
1/2 cup butter, cut into 4 pieces
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour, sifted
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease the parchment.
In a saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and chopped unsweetened chocolate. Heat, stirring often, until melted, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir in the sugar and salt. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended. Sprinkle the sifted flour over the mixture and stir until just blended. Stir in the chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Next, the blondies.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Sift the flour and salt together; set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and brown sugar. Heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook about 1 minute longer; the mixture will bubble but not boil. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla to the cooled mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Sprinkle the sifted flour and salt over the sugar mixture until just blended.
Pour the batter over the brownie mixture, spreading it evenly. Bake until the center is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Do not overbake. Cool completely.
Run a small knife around the inside of the pan to loosen. Invert onto a rack, lift off the pan, and then carefully peel off the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve with vanilla bean ice cream or not.