Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies

Last Sunday, I had two fantastic food events: potluck brunch with friends who also volunteer for The Food Trust and a Top Chef finale dinner party with more wonderful friends. There was so much good food - I was even more ebullient than usual. Egg quiche with quinoa, vegan chili, meatza (ie pizza made out of meat), polenta and sausage, Israeli couscous with root vegetables, and strawberry-banana-coconut daiquiris... I am lucky to have friends who make crazy-good food.

My contribution? Peanut butter and jelly blondies, tweaked ever so slightly from a recipe in this month's Bon Appetit magazine. These things taste like the best version of a peanut butter sandwich that could happen to a food-loving person, so I'm sharing my (lightly) adjusted recipe with you!

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt

1 cup melted unsalted butter
3 cups light brown sugar
4 eggs
16 oz peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

5-6 Tbsp jelly or jam to top the blondies (or chocolate, either in chip or liquid form, if you're not feeling in a jam mood)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan. If you don't feel like making a large pan of brownies, halve the recipe and go for an 8 x 8 x 2.

2. Mix together the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt.

3. Whisk together the wet ingredients - start by combining butter and sugar, then add eggs, peanut butter, and the vanilla extract.

4. Fold in the dry ingredients one cup at a time until everything is incorporated.

5. Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish, and generously dot the top with jelly or jam. If you're going the chocolate route, mix chocolate into the batter.

6. Stick the pan in the oven, and check after 35-40 minutes. If a toothpick inserted in the blondie comes out clean, it's ready. If not, give it a few more minutes.

7. Sprinkle the top of the blondie with sea salt to give it an irresistible finish.

8. Glass of milk. Blondie. Happiness.