Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Blondie By Any Other Name

Today's post is a special request. I made this outside of my regular baking schedule because 1) it gave me and excuse to try another dessert, and 2) the special request came from Veggie Girl, and I think she's awesome.

Veggie Girl is one of the happiest faces in food blogging. When I go to my favorite sites to read and comment she's already been there. And she always finds something positive to say, even if the recipe is just a plate full of meat. Veggie Girl is a vegan and is super creative about veganizing baked goods and giving old recipes a vegan twist. So when she put in a request for blondies, how could I say no? This is not a vegan recipe, so she'll have some experimenting to come up with a vegan cousin to it.

I made these for my daughter's Bible study group. When she was living at home I used to provide a dessert for them almost every week. Sarah makes wonderful meals to take, but she says the dessert end of things has been sadly lacking. When I heard that the bachelor men in the group were bringing packaged grocery store cookies for dessert, my heart was smote. How could I leave this wonderful group of people who'd come and weeded our whole yard before the wedding with no decent dessert?

I took the special request in hand and adapted a couple of recipes to fit the occasion. But there was a problem. Here's the script as related by Sarah:

Group: What's this?

Sarah: It's blondies.

Group: What's a blondie?

Sarah: It's a brownie without the chocolate.

Group (pouting): Oh, no chocolate?

Sarah: It's really good. It's just something different. Just try it. You have a piece with the ice cream on top.

Group: (takes a piece, nibbles indifferently)

Sarah: It's meant to have the ice cream on it.

Group: That's ice cream? I thought it was yogurt. (Takes a scoop of ice cream on a different plate)

Sarah:(getting frantically frustrated) It's ice cream and it's meant to go on top. It's a topping for the blondie. Put the scoop on top of the blondie and eat them together!

Group (gets the idea and eats it as prescribed. Eats more. Clutches stomach and moans): Oh, that was so good. I ate too much.

To avoid further such episodes of confusion, I'm renaming these:

Walnut Bars with Maple Walnut Ice Cream
- adapted from Taste of Home

3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Maple Walnut Ice Cream with Wet Walnuts from The Perfect Scoop
Salted Caramel Sauce from The Perfect Scoop (optional)

1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan. If you want to have very tidy squares, line the pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over the edges of the sides. You can use this to lift the bar out of the pan after baking.

2 - In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3- In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

4- Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Stir in the toasted walnuts.

5 - Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. It might look a bit underdone in the middle, but that's OK. Cool on a wire rack.

6 - When cool, cut into 20 squares. If you put parchment in the pan, lift the blondies out, peel off the paper, and place on a cutting board before cutting.

7 - Serve with a generous scoop of ice cream. You can, of course, use a store bought ice cream, but this ice cream is so amazingly good, you'll be missing out. Drizzling with sauce is a delightful option, but not necessary for enjoyment of this treat. Due to the timing of things, mine was served without.

Note: Even though the pictures bear my watermark, they were taken by my super-talented daughter. Isn't she great?


VeggieGirl said...

Lynn, you are truly a gem - I am so touched by your incredibly kind words; and it is YOU that I am always inspired by, to try new recipes and to keep up my writing (since your style is captivating).

Remember when I veganized one of your cookie recipes, with wonderful results??? I plan on taking this blondie recipe, and veganizing it as well :0) Stay tuned for that!!

But in the meantime, the attendants at your daughter's Bible study group are miiiighty lucky to receive those Walnut blondies (HAHA!! Love the story about the group not knowing what a blondie is), with the tantalizing maple-walnut ice cream - fantastic!!

Your daughter is an EXCEPTIONAL photographer - her photographs are so striking!! I feel like I can reach into my laptop screen and eat what's on the fork, in the last photo (ahhh, I wish I could!! haha).

Again, thank you so much for this post - as always, I've truly enjoyed reading and viewing it; and I'm so glad that we're blogging buddies!! :0)

Deborah said...

I love blondies, or walnut bars, or whatever you call them!! And they sound over the top with the ice cream!

Sarah said...

Mmmm....blondies are so good, especially when the blondie is warm and you put the cold ice cream on top. Heaven. Yours look great and the maple ice cream? Swoon!

Sarah said...

haha I like that you shared the story. It's pretty funny to me. Oh the single men at group, we need to find them nice wives so they can eat more than five things.

Thanks for making the food for group. They love your cooking and love you. You need to come with me some time.

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heather said...

ohhh i love, love love maple walnut ice cream. this looks delicious. i really like your daughter's script... and the pictures! she's so talented!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I agree, your writing is as captivating as your blondie now to be known as Walnut Bars with Maple Walnut Ice Cream!

Debbie said...

Oh those blondies look good and the ice cream makes it perfect!

Anne said...

I've always loved blondies and with ice cream on top would made it even more yummy :)

LyB said...

There should never be any confusion about dessert. You eat it and you like it! lol! The walnut bars and ice cream look scrumptious. :)

görel said...

Oh my, now when I'm on a diet I seem find gorgeous goodies wherever I look. I love walnuts and walnut ice cream, and this dessert will surely make both myself and my family happy (if a friend should happen to come by, maybe we'll share a little).

Lovely pictures too!

Melinda said...

I think you should rename it again. Perhaps something like, 'Stun gun' Blondies with Maple-Walnut ice cream.
Good scripting of the funny single guys.
Thanks Veggie Girl for requesting these!

Katrina said...

Looks SO good! Love the photos, love blondies and/or maple walnut bars and love the ice cream. Ummmmm! (rubbing tummy)

görel said...

I have just ordered "The perfect scoop" from How could I not to?

Brilynn said...

I love THe Perfect Scoop, I have yet to make the maple walnut but it's definitely on my list.

Maria said...

Whatever they are, they look wonderful!! The Perfect Scoop is amazing!

Lisa said...

I never realized that not everyone in the US can buy Maple Walnut ice cream until a friend of mine's sister moved to FL. Everytime she came back to RI she requested it.

Your blondies look scrumptious.

Claire said...

Wow...can't believe they took so long to understand the "instructions!" These look fantastic.

Anne said...

wow, this looks amazing!

RecipeGirl said...

I'm in complete agreement on everything you said about Veggie Girl. She is truly one special person and a terrific blogger.

I cracked up about the conversation you posted. So funny. Sounds like a conversation I would have w/ my hubby.

Perfect combo with the ice cream and caramel. I would have done the same!

Nora B. said...

Aww, Lynn, that is so nice of you to do this for VeggieGirl.

Blondies are awesome, although can you believe it that I've never made some myself. But I ran out of cocoa and can't find them in my usual stores, so I may have to go blond!

Peabody said...

Yes, Veggie Girl is SO the sunshine of the blogging world! And almost always first...I must know her secret!
I prefer blondies to browines and these look like they belong in my tummy.

Dee Light said...

Whatever you want to call them they look delish!!

SiHaN said...

that is awesome! i mean the episode about the whole eating part. haha. The blondie/ bars? look delicious too!

Haley said...

Your daughter is lucky to have such a wonderful mom to bake things for her bible study group! These look delicious! And her pictures are wonderful!

We would like to feature your blondie recipe on our blog and possibly on the first ever digital recipe reader! If interested email