Easy, Adaptable Blondies

These blondies are exactly what the title says they are: easy to make and adaptable. I added 1/2 cup toasted walnuts and 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips. Next time they might be just plain or topped with M&Ms or mixed with dried cranberries. Seriously, these really are infinitely versatile. They also happen to be one of James’ favorite desserts so how could I pass up the chance to try this recipe?! That’s what makes cooking so fun — trying new recipes, being flexible and satisfying other people (of course I take part in the eating, too)!

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Ingredients
Source: Smitten Kitchen
8 T. butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Optional stir-ins, a la carte or combined in whatever fashion you choose (totaling 1 cup):

  • Chocolate chips (or other types of chips: butterscotch, white, peanut butter)
  • Nuts
  • Marshmallows
  • Dried raisins or other fruit

Directions
Butter an 8×8 pan and preheat oven to 350
1. Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
2. Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions (below).
3. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. A note from Smitten Kitchen: I always err on the side of caution with baking times — nobody ever complained about a gooey-middled cookie. Cool on rack before cutting them.

A few other possible additions:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, toasting them first for even better flavor
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract in addition to or in place of the vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup bourbon, scotch or other whiskey; increase the flour by one tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons of espresso powder with the vanilla
  • Stir 1/2 cup dried fruit, especially dried cherries, into the prepared batter

Voila!

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