Maybe it's the "nesting" instinct with our baby coming any day now, but Mark and I have been cleaning out our fridge, freezer and pantry a lot lately, making meals out of things we've had stashed there. You know what I mean -- the 1 cup of dry orzo or red quinoa, the odd frozen pieces of lemon sole.
Being the baker in the family, that also means I've had some work to do using up the half bags of ingredients I've accumulated. I mentioned recently a nice package I got from Hershey's, and in fact I had a few goodies from them stashed in the fridge -- most notably part of a bag of milk chocolate chips and part of a bag of peanut butter chips. I thought, why not crush up some pretzels and toss it all into some blondies?
The flavors put together reminded me of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream, which has a fudge swirl and peanut butter-filled pretzels in vanilla malt ice cream. Oh. My. GOD. Before salted-butter caramels became the trendy way satisfy those sweet-salty cravings, B&J were churning out this insanely delicious ice cream! (If by some tragedy you haven't had this flavor, you must try it. Seriously -- walk away from the computer, and go get some.) So here is my tribute to Ben & Jerry and their masterpiece, in blondie form.
Incidentally, the basis of the blondie recipe is Mark Bittman's -- I doubled it and changed it slightly.
"Chubby Hubby" Blondies
Makes about 32
16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
You could add anything here -- nuts, dark chocolate chunks, coconut, etc. -- but I threw in about 1 cup milk chocolate chips, about 1 1/4 cups peanut butter chips, and about 1 cup chopped pretzels.
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF; line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil and mist foil with cooking spray.
2. Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring often. Remove from heat, scrape into a large bowl, and let cool slightly. When cool, whisk in eggs and vanilla. Stir flour and salt together, then stir into butter mixture. Fold in any add-ins.
3. Scrape batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until just set. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill overnight (you don’t have to -- just makes it easier to cut).
Oh, and one more thing: Happy birthday, Derek!!!