OK, so whole grains are good for you, right? And dark chocolate is good for you, right? And nuts are good for you, right? If all of that is true, then these blondies are practically health food!
I ran out of all-purpose thought it would be interesting to try Mark Bittman's perfect blondie recipe (I know it's perfect because I've made it SO many times, see it here and here, to name a couple) with whole-wheat flour, and got lucky just as I suspected they would, they came out with a delicious, nutty, sort of toasty flavor. You couldn't guess what it was that was different about them, but they definitely had a certain something that made them unique.
I tossed in some Ghirardelli extra-dark baking chips and some finely chopped toasted pecans I had laying about in the freezer and voila! A treat full of heart-healthy goodness (oh, and um, a fair amount of butter and sugar, too...)
Adapted from Mark Bittman's recipe
Makes about 16
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup extra-dark chocolate chips (or cut up a bar of your favorite kind)
1/3 cup finely chopped toasted pecans (or use walnuts, almonds or anything you like - even a combo!)
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-by-8-inch square pan with foil and mist with cooking spray. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter with brown sugar until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly (you should be able to comfortably stick your finger in the mixture). Whisk in egg and vanilla.
2. In a small bowl, stir together flour and salt. Stir into butter mixture. Fold in chocolate and nuts. Spread in pan and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until just set. Let cool on a wire rack.
* These would be equally delicious with dried cherries or cranberries and white chocolate chips (I'd throw chopped pistachios in there too).
* Mr. Bittman stirs whiskey or bourbon into his blondies -- I bet that would be great, too.
* For perfectly cut blondies, cover these and toss them in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight). They slice much more easily and cleanly when they're good and cold.