Home cooks know the best recipes travel by word of mouth. So, it wasn’t surprising to stumble upon this sinful one for espresso blondies, courtesy of Holly Hurd, while unpacking our kids in their college dorm. Put two chatty moms together and the next thing you know, we’re swapping recipes for care packages. But, she’s not just a baker. Holly is the founder and CEO of venturemom.com, a web site and free newsletter that help moms turn their passions into money-making ventures. From guidance to inspiration to a web store (featuring beautiful and trendy products, and services too, from mom owned businesses), Holly has made her website one-stop shopping for “mompreneurs” everywhere. Check it out: www.venturemom.com.
Chewy blondie secret: Besides the intense coffee flavor of these delectable brownies, they’re insanely chewy, which makes them quit addicting. Creating a “just right” chewy brownie is so elusive, but here’s the secret: Melt the butter and sugar together to a toffee-like consistency first. This toffee-like combo is the cornerstone of the batter
Mixing warm and cool ingredients: Once the butter and brown sugar are melted, it’s important to cool the mixture slightly or it will literally cook the eggs. A foolproof way to make sure that this doesn’t happen is to beet the cooler eggs into the warmer butter/sugar mixture. By keeping the ingredients moving, they won’t have a chance to do anything but mix together to make a beautiful batter.
About cutting blondies: There’s nothing more frustrating than cutting blondies or brownies with half the brownie sticking to the knife, that is, if you’re using a metal knife. Try a plastic knife and you’ll have perfectly cut brownies every time.
- 1 lb. box (2 cups) dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee or espresso
- 1-tablespoon hot water
- 2 large eggs
- 1-teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine dark brown sugar with butter until melted, smooth and slightly bubbly. Turn off heat. In a small bowl, dissolve instant coffee or espresso into hot water. Stir into brown sugar/butter mixture followed by vanilla. Place in a large bowl or a stand mixer bowl to cool slightly.
- Once cool, turn on mixer and beat in eggs. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and add until just combined. Add chocolate chips and nuts if using.
- Evenly spread in prepared baking pan and bake 22-25 minutes. Home Cooks note: It’s hard to tell when chewy brownies are done, so don’t bother testing with a toothpick. Instead, if the sides are pulling away slightly and the top is shiny and a bit crackly, you’ll know those beauties are done.