September 21, 2011

Sweet and Salty Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Excuse me, waiter, but there's salt on my dessert.

And underneath the salt there's this gently chewy blondie that's layered with ooey, gooey melted hunks of chocolate. But there's salt on top and that's a problem... or is it?

Not in the case of these decadent blondies. Throw out whatever Toll House chocolate chip recipe you've been wedded to over the years, and don't bother looking for another bar cookie again, either. These insanely scrumptious bars boast a ridiculous amount of semi-sweet chocolate in a light-as-air blondie batter. Then, every morsel is topped with a sprinkling of shining, crystalline sea salt.

Have you ever dipped your french fries in your milk shake or your potato chips in your fudge sauce? Then this is the dessert for you.

My only warning is this: don't think that you can cut them at 11:00 at night while they are still piping hot out of the oven and not eat almost half of the batch. When I arrived to bed with chocolate smeared into the corners of my mouth and on the side of my face ( I swear I thought I had cleaned up the evidence) M didn't even bother asking me where I'd been. That night I dreamed of chocolate chunks, buttery crumbs, and mouth-puckering salt. Now that is what sweet dreams are made of.

Sweet and Salty Chocolate Chunk Blondies: makes over 48 squares

2 sticks salted butter, room temperature, wrappers saved
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/3 cup white flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
2 large eggs
2 t. pure vanilla extract
3 cups quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (don't skimp!)
1.5 T. coarse sea salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using your butter wrappers, grease a 9x13 jelly roll pan.

Using a standing mixer, beat the butter for two minutes until it is fluffy, then beat in the brown sugars and granulated sugars gradually. Scrape down the sides in between additions. Then, continue to beat butter and sugars together for 8-10 minutes until very fluffy and light.

Whisk the baking soda, flour, and 1/8 t. salt in a bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and stir each in completely with a wooden spoon. Now add your vanilla. Turn the mixer down to its lowest setting and gradually add the flour, egg, and vanilla mixture. Once it is fully incorporated with the butter, add all of the chocolate chips. The dough will become very densely packed with chocolate chips and it may be hard to mix, but allow them to continue to incorporate.

Once the chocolate chips are fully incorporated to the batter (don't overmix, though!) spread the batter out into the jelly roll pan. Use a spatula to evenly press the batter to the corners. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are barely browned and the center is no longer raw. Remove from oven immediately and allow to cool in the pan.

While blondies are still in pan, use a sharp plastic knife or regular knife to cut the blondies into 1" squares. The yield is a lot, but you will need all of them because they will get eaten fast! Try as you might, you will not be able to stop yourself from shoveling them in your mouth as you cut. However, any blondies that do not get eaten immediately can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

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