Drunken Blondies

2:02 PM

There are times, though hopefully rare, when you need a little bit of spirit to jump start the day.  Yes, that kind of spirit, of the alcoholic persuasion.

This was my first attempt at making blondies.  For some reason, if I'm going to make some kind of bar baked good, I always break out a massive slab of chocolate and make brownies. Brownies are just sultrier and promise to bombard all of your taste buds with awesomeness.  How can blondies even compare?

Cheryl Day persuaded me to finally give blondies a chance by including the word "bourbon" in the recipe.  I had a giant bottle of bourbon waiting to be opened in my cupboard, so why not?  I was still skeptical when I was spreading the batter into the pan.  The batter was pretty chunky and didn't flow together like that of brownies; there were actually some areas of no batter that I was praying the spreading power of baking powder would take care of.

I shouldn't have worried because the blondies came out beautifully.  Since the flavor wasn't as sweet or robust as brownies, people at work were more inclined to indulge in these little treats.  Way before lunch came around, most of the pan was gone. I had to put away the last couple of pieces for a quick shot in the afternoon when things around work died down.

Whatever you do, do NOT skimp on the bourbon.  The bourbon added a nice rounded zing to the blondies.  Without the alcohol, they would have been pale, listless squares of carbs.

Drunken Blondies
(Adapted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 generous tablespoon bourbon
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack positioned in the middle. Line a 9x9 inch square baking pan with foil.
Mix the butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl until smooth.  Add the egg, vanilla, and bourbon, and stir until combined thoroughly (it will look sort of like molasses).  Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt, making sure not to overmix.  Then mix in the walnuts, coconut, and chocolate chips, stirring until only traces of flour remain
Spread the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and slightly springy.  Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack.  Cut into bars and serve.  They won't last long at work, but if you keep them all to yourself, they'll keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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