Three-four weeks ago, we had to part with one of the powers that be. My dearest previous boss had finally ended her transition term with my company and she was moving on to start a new job! We, or at least I, had mixed feelings about her leaving. For one, I was really sad that finally it was time for us to part, even though we had known for months that she was leaving. For another, I am really happy that she found a job, which she was starting soon. All in all, in my selfishness, I was not ready to let her go. How could I? I had worked for her for 9 years, and she was very good to me. She was the most ideal boss anyone could ask for. In addition to her willingness to take care of us, she was also very funny. From time to time, she would create this special project for us, with a very serious face, which made us think that we had to work late and possibly over the weekend… but actually it was an Easter Egg hunt! It made me smile that we, grown-up adults, actually fought over those plastic eggs hidden between desks, files, copiers, and printers. We behaved like 6 years old again! Not only we were a fun group, we were also the best at teamwork that you could ask for. Whenever we had a special project, we would all get together and make sure the job was done correctly and in a timely manner. We were all love her very much and got all teary eyed as we said our good byes.
Knowing that the sadness was in the air, what could I do other than bake, and bring the goodies to sweeten everyone’s mood? I chose Bobby Flay’s Throwdown Blondies, which one of my co-workers, Ron, really liked the sound of the title. He thought that it reminded him of blond female wrestlers! Ha ha! Is there such thing?
It was really easy too, pretty straight forward. Flour, butter, baking powder, salt, almond, toffee chips, milk chocolate chips, eggs, and brown sugar. Bobby for some reason likes to use the muscovado sugar, and I had some left over from last baking, so I used that. I have read reviews where some people just used the regular brown sugar and it came out fine.
First I measured out the flour into a mixing bowl.
Added the baking powder…
Whisked it to mix them around.
Then I melted the butter…
Added the muscavado sugar…
Mixed them up – I think at this point I realized that I misread the recipe. This concoction was supposed to be on top of the stove top – so that the sugar will melt with the heat. But I figured, the butter was warm enough, and it should be enough to help the sugar melt, so I didn’t heat it up.
Then, after the sugar was incorporated, I dropped in the vanilla.
In a small pan, I started to toast the almonds over a low – medium heat.
While the almonds were toasting, I dumped the eggs into the sugar – butter mixture.
Whisked them to get the eggs incorporated.
Then I dumped in the flour. One of Bobby’s assistant mentioned not to beat the flour too much, since they didn’t want the gluten to develop. Developed gluten means tough bread. If you are interested in reading about flour and gluten, click here.
So after the flour was incorporated, I had a batter. It was an interesting color, because of the muscavado sugar. If I had used regular light brown sugar, it would probably will come out in lighter color.
In the meantime, the almonds were almost forgotten. They started to make “tic” “tic” sound! I didn’t realize that toasting almonds will get them to talk!
Then I transferred the almonds on to a cutting board…
Rough chopped them…
Then I dumped the chocolate chips into the batter…
Chopped, toasted almonds…
Folded them into the batter…
And put it into a parchment paper lined baking pan and baked it. I just used the 9 x 13, since I didn’t have a 9 x 9 baking pan. So, my blondies would come out thinner than Bobby’s. But that’s okay.
Then when the Blondies were done, I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool.
Cut them up, and of course I had to taste them. They were delicious and reminded me of a very thick chocolate chip cookies. I couldn’t taste the toffee chips though, and the almonds could have used a little more toasting. The sweetness was just right, and I felt like you can just about throw anything into the batter and would come out right.
I left one piece for Hubby to try and when I got home, I asked him what did he think of the Blondies. He said “Where is the chocolate?” So if your hubby is a chocolate lover, this is definitely not for his consumption… 🙂 Try this one instead. 🙂
Print recipe Throwdown blondies.
Recipe by: Bobby Flay
1½ cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter
1 cup light brown muscovado sugar
½ cup dark brown muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons toffee chips
½ cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a butter 9 x 9 x 2-inch inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter the lining too.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add both sugars and whisk until combined and sugar has melted, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the flour and whisk until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips, toffee chips and almonds and transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
4. Bake for 24-27 minutes or until the top cracks slightly and is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist pieces clinging to it. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment handles, transfer to a cutting board and cut into 2-inch squares.