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
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?