Post school, I experienced a humble but waking urge. The uzhe, I guess you could say, but I only wanted to bake something simple; something well-loved and relatively straightforward. This recipe in particular is dedicated to my lovely Em, who I wish was here at the moment just to share some with me. I have a large family already, but having her around would definitely be the coolest.
I used my favourite chewy blondie recipe as a base, and a simple maple vanilla icing to round it off to add some disastrous sweetness. The final yield: thin, dense, firm little slabs of sticky chewiness, made all the more decadent by a sudden hit of maple and vanilla at the top of your palate. Not all too sinful, not all too modest either. I experimented a little with the icing and modified it from my previous icing recipe, in which I use a little more milk. To obtain a firmer yet moist and pliable consistency, I stuck to two tablespoons of rich, whole milk. As for those blondies, the outrageous chewiness (as how I quoted on my instagram), is achieved by the use of soft, sticky brown sugar, with a little of the normal white stuff as a less serious accompaniment.
Note: I use cup measurements here only because the base recipe I derived this from does the same, and the ratios work out perfectly. For accuracy’s sake, always use the the scoop-and-sweep method when measuring flour– scoop the flour (gently) into your cup measurement, then use the back of a knife to scrape off the excess on top. I also noted that you can do this with all white sugar, and you will get blondies just as extravagantly chewy, but there will be less depth of flavour and less cinnamon hints.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or fresh, if you have that wonderful sort of thing on hand. I didn’t, though of course fresh is always best)
- 72g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup white caster sugar
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For maple vanilla icing:
- 3/4 cup icing sugar (being the sloth I am, I didn’t even sift mine, but a hard whisk is all you need to get those lumps out of the way. Really. Lazy? It’s ok. The world isn’t going to end.)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1-2 tbsp of milk, depending on your surrounding temperature or preference with regard to runniness of the icing. Yes, I just made up that word. You might even need more than 2! Once again, the world will not end. We are all human. Follow your heart.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Line and grease an 8-inch square pan. Alternatively you can do this in an 9×5-inch loaf pan, it just means you have to bake the blondies for longer, at least 25 minutes. Always check with a dry wooden skewer– if the batter is wet bake for 4-5 more minutes, if there are moist crumbs you’re good to go.
- In a medium bowl, briefly whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together both sugars and melted butter, then whisk in the egg and vanilla extract.
- Using a spatula, fold dry into wet ingredients, and you should get a relatively thick, grudgingly mousse-like batter. It will be a little hard to drop off the spatula.
- Pour into the square pan and bake in oven for 20-22 minutes (or as previously mentioned, 25 minutes if baking in a loaf pan). The golden-brown top should form a sugary crust and the edges should have started pulling away from the sides.
- Let cool completely in the tin. Whilst you tolerate the wait, make the icing. Whisk all the icing ingredients together in a small bowl, with a fork/whisk and generous dollop of bicep power. Add the milk drop by drop, not spoon after spoon. Careful now.
- Once the blondies have completely cooled, drizzle the icing in whatever patterns you desire all over the blondies.
- Cut into square pieces and enjoy a bit of chewy, crusty, cinnamon heaven.