Banana Blondies, Kind Of Cakey

I made another batch of banana blondies. These didn’t have a crust to hold them up, but they didn’t really need one either. I used the recipe from Smitten Kitchen and added half a cup of mashed banana like Deb suggested.

The post itself talks about how adaptable blondie batter is, and all the diverse add-ins that complement it. Nuts. Bananas. Peppermint extract. Cranberries. Coconut. It’s a pretty forgiving batter that way…takes really well to diverse flavour combinations 🙂 And you can’t really go wrong, whatever you put in. (Unless you get totally freaky and add harissa paste or garam masala, then nothing can save your blondies.)

Banana blondies

Banana blondies

The original post was published in November 2006- a while ago. Just made me realize how long Deb has been cooking and sharing and tempting us with her versatile recipes and beautiful images. But if you look towards the bottom of the post, you’ll notice that she added an update as recent as May 24th, 2014- yes, less than a month ago- so I stand by my statement that there is a blondie renaissance happening in the blogosphere. Her update swaps melted butter for brown butter like Melissa Clark, a toning down of the brown sugar, and the addition of flaky sea salt. (Also- I feel the salty-sweet combination is majorly on-trend right now! Maple-bacon, chocolate-sea salt, and of course, classic salted caramel.)

...a little cakey inside.

The blondie batter is simple, and not very different from Melissa Clark’s, except for the proportions and the use of melted butter vs brown butter. Baked as plain blondies, they appear to be quite chewy…but that half cup of mashed banana brings on the fluff. So while this recipe yields a shiny, crackly top, beneath, it’s more banana bread than fudgy. Continue reading

Blondie Ambition : Melissa Clark’s Chocolate-Crusted Banana Blondies

I have been on a blondie-baking spree. Is it just me, or are blondies having a moment once again? Sizzling brownies are not going off dessert menus  in India anytime soon (and honestly, in most restaurants, what you get is a burnt brownie, not a sizzling one,) but I can’t help but notice how blondies have been doing the rounds on the blogosphere. Just look here,  here,  here  and here. And each adapted in a fun, eat-the-batter-with-a-spoon way!

I know blondies are nothing new, they have been around for ages now. I was re-introduced to them via Melissa Clark’s NYT column, A Good Appetite. (I absolutely love her recipes and innovations- and her use of good-quality pantry ingredients to make an everyday meal special.) I was suddenly in the blondie fast lane. I looked them up on every possible online food publication and blog, read and re-read recipes from magazines and cookbooks, was kind of shocked when I learned Nigella’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess didn’t have a blondie recipe…I even stalked a prominent British food writer’s Instagram stream and point-blank asked her if she had a perfect blondie recipe.

After browsing recipes for a while, it was the variations in sugar combinations that struck me most- with each recipe using some form of brown sugar.

Ina Garten: Lightly packed light brown sugar + granulated sugar

Alice Medrich: Tightly packed light brown sugar

Bobby Flay: Light brown muscovado + dark brown muscovado

Deb Perelman: Dark brown sugar

Pooja Dhingra: Light brown sugar

But the recipe I’m sharing today is none of the above, it’s what got me interested in blondies in the first place: Melissa Clark’s Chocolate-Crusted Banana Blondies. Continue reading