Sunday, January 13, 2013

Salted Peanut and Milk Chocolate Blondies

Salted peanut and milk chocolate blondies - straight from the fridge

So, I made blondies. I filled them with big chunks of my favourite milk chocolate, oats, and salted peanuts. They were amazing. The day I baked them they were like warm, gooey, underbaked choc chip cookies. After a night in the fridge they were even better, just like a caramelly Snickers bar. They were intense and rich, with an almost obscene amount of butter, but hot damn they were good!

Gooey blondie square on the day of baking

I've made blondies a couple of times in the past - Nigella's white chocolate and macadamia 'brownies' from How to be a Domestic Goddess, and her blondies from Kitchen (not blogged) - but neither particularly impressed me. The former were more like a dense eggy cake, and the latter were overly sweet, with a bizarre texture.

Appropriately enough, it was an American author's recipe that gave me the blueprint for the blondies that I ended up loving so much. For Christmas, we gave my dad a copy of Ina Garten's latest book: Foolproof (he's a big fan of Ina's!), and of course I had to flick through it before wrapping it up. The whole book is great, but her recipe for blondies caught my eye. Check out the picture:
Picture of Ina Garten's blondies from Foolproof
It looked like a giant cookie! The blondies of my dreams! I saw all that gooey chocolate in the picture, and had to have them for myself! (Ina's original recipe for chocolate chunk blondies is available on the Food Network website.)

I couldn't resist changing it up quite a bit - I used dark brown sugar for an extra caramelly taste, cut down the flour for extra fudginess, added oats for texture (let's not kid ourselves and say it was for health purposes!) and used salted peanuts and Lindt milk chocolate for the add-ins. And thus my salted peanut and milk chocolate chunk blondies were born.

Blondie batter
The peanuts I used were these fab salted peanuts that my friend Alaina brought all the way from Kingaroy in Queensland. They're so good - it was hard not eating them all before I started baking!
Kingaroy Salted Peanuts

Lindt chocolate
I used my favourite chocolate - Lindt milk - and chopped it up into uneven chunks. You'll need a lot of chocolate for this recipe, so make sure you use one that you actually like the taste of - no crap compound cooking chocolate here! (Just a side note - I only used 400 grams of chocolate instead of the 570 grams stipulated in Ina's recipe - when stirring the batter up, I didn't think it could take any more than 400 grams. I love Ina, but I cannot be her.)

Dough

Raw dough
I made these in a foil tray, as I was taking them to a picnic later that day and knew would be easier to transport. They rise up quite a bit during baking, but sink down upon cooling.
Brownies at the picnic

Mega fudgy fudge town
Even a few hours after coming out of the even, they were still mega-gooey and messy, but very, very tasty. Ideally you'd let these cool completely before cutting them into squares, so that the chocolate has a chance to resolidify and you can get neat slices. Hah! As if I was going to wait that long! Do as I say, not as I do.

Salted Peanut and Milk Chocolate Blondies
Adapted from Ina Garten's Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Ingredients
225 grams unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (standard supermarket stuff, not dark muscovado)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
400 grams milk chocolate, chopped into rough chunks

Method
Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a 20 x 30 x 5 cm baking tray with baking paper. (Alternatively, if you use a foil tray, there's no need to line it.)
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until well combined, light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, then the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift over the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the oats to the bowl, and mix gently with a wooden spoon until combined, with no streaks of flour. Fold in the salted peanuts and chocolate chunks.
Spread the batter into the baking tray, and smooth the top down with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and more-or-less set. (It should be squidgy, so don't be alarmed if it looks a bit soft and a cake tester doesn't come out clean - it will firm up as it cools down and the chocolate solidifies).
Allow to cool completely (or for as long as you can bear!) before cutting into small squares and removing from the tin.
Makes lots

7 comments:

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Wow there is a lot of chocolate in those blondies! :O Not that I'm complaining-I look at it as a good thing!

Tina @foodfortina said...

Lovely recipe :) I've never tried putting oats in brownies, but this recipe will definitely change my view on the diversity that this great dessert has :) !

Hannah said...

I want to go to there.

Gemma said...

These look amazing - love the sound of salted peanut, chocolate and oats...

catty said...

OMG these look sooooo good!!!! I'm accumulating quite a list of recipes to try and now have just added this.. :)

Nic@diningwithastud said...

Oh the gooeyness :) it looks sooo good!

Norm said...

Oh my... these look incredible!