08 March 2008

Dorie's Peanut-buttery Blondies

I'll tell you what did me in with this recipe, it was the cinnamon.

I like cinnamon, I really do. But I think it has its place when it comes to my tastes, and that's in those warm, spicy baked goods. Cinnamon raisin bread? Fabulous. Cinnamon rolls? Sublime. Molasses cookies and gingerbread and pfeffernusse? Perfect. But in something I'm not expecting it? Not so much.

And so it goes with this recipe: I love blondies, and I love peanut butter. I love Dorie for bringing them together, and adding chocolate chunks to boot. But I saw the cinnamon, and should have known better from past experience. Still, I added it. Because it's Dorie! And every recipe of hers that I've tried has been amazing! So this was a little bit of a letdown, when I bit into the blondie and this weird cinnamon-y taste hit the palate. Curses. Foiled again.

It's just that I taste that cinnamon and get a twinge, but I'm sure it'll work for other people. The texture of these bars is amazing - just what you want, chewy and soft with a flaky/crunchy exterior. The bittersweet chocolate does well to offset the sweet, and the peanut butter flavor is just enough to show itself without overpowering the rest of the flavors in the bar. So: if you're one of those people that likes cinnamon (and really, it's just a whisper of cinnamon that hits you after the peanut butter), then you'll love these bars. Really. Truly.

I still love you, Dorie, promise. We'll try something non-cinnamony next time, to make up for this non-drooly-Dorie-love post.

Dorie's Peanut-buttery Blondies
(from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home To Yours)

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. coarsely chopped salted peanuts
6 oz. good-quality chocolate (I used a bittersweet dark chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line a 9-in. baking pan with aluminum foil. Butter the foil and set the pan aside. Chop the peanuts and chocolate, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugar and brown sugar and continue beating about 2 minutes, until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the 2 eggs (one at a time), beating for about 1 minute each. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and turn the mixer back on low speed. Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Dump the chopped peanuts and chocolate into the bowl, and mix on low speed just a few turns, until they’re distributed through the dough.
Scrape the dough into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for about 40-50 minutes (mine went 60 minutes, but my oven temp. is off so I had it down to 300 F). Bake until the top is golden brown, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the pan on a rack until it comes to room temperature.

To cut, lift the foil out of the pan peel it away from the blondies. Cut into squares.


Anonymous said...

I made these a while ago and had to literally ban myself from baking them ever again because they were THAT good! The cinnamon definitely enhances this recipe.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Well these look ans sound just delicious! I imagine the cinnamon was to just offset the sweetness, but if it gets in the way, by all means I will try them without! Because I will try them mind you! :)

test it comm said...

Those look good. You can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate chips.

Deborah said...

I haven't tried these ones yet, but need to do so right away!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

These look great with all the chocolate chunks in them! I love blondies!

Anonymous said...

Yummmm.... I'll start the diet AFTER these.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nemmie, I'm a sucker for anything cinnamon, so these are perfect for me. But I completely understand how you feel about it.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm a sucker for cinnamon, Nemmie, so these would be perfect for me. I understand how you feel, though.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Mmm, these sound wonderful. Dorie + peanut butter = seriously good!