Friday, May 18, 2007

Maple Butterscotch Macadamia Blondies

My friend Kristen has had a bad week. A very bad week. So bad I'll let you draw your own conclusions as to how bad it really was. I'll never tell because friends don't do that to other friends. Anyway, to cheer her up, I baked her not one but two goodies today. I have a bottle of maple extract I am trying to use up, and both recipes I made for her just happen to have it as an ingredient. Coincidence? I think not.

I have had this recipe for Maple Butterscotch Macadamia Blondies in my desktop to-try recipe folder for a very long time. (Okay, it normally wouldn't have been my first choice, but I had butterscotch chips and macadamia nuts to use up, too. got me.). The warm maple and creamy butterscotch flavors really compliment each other and the bars are toothsome and chewy. The toasted macadamia nuts add a rich, buttery crunch, too. I did, however, think they were a bit too greasy. After they cooled completely and I cut them into bars, I put them on a double layer of paper towels and let them sit out on the kitchen counter for about an hour. The absorbent paper towels along with "airing out" the blondies reduced the greasiness significantly. These are delicious, and I would definitely make them again; however, next time I would use about 1/4 cup less macadamia nuts, a few less tablespoons of butter and about 1/4 cup less butterscotch chips to see if that helps conquer the "too greasy" end result.

(The next recipe I made using the maple extract will be posted tomorrow. I'm too tired to post it tonight.)

Maple Butterscotch Macadamia Blondies

Source: The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. maple extract
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the macadamia nuts on a baking sheet, and roast them until they are nicely toasted, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove them from the oven.

Grease a 9-inch square cake pan. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, and salt with a fork to blend. In another bowl, blend the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and maple extract. By hand, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the butterscotch chips and toasted macadamias.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown. Cool, and cut into squares.

Yield: 12 blondies

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