You know that thing where you start doing a task a really stupid way, for instance deciding to break up whole toasted pecans with your fingers because you don’t feel like washing the cutting board and knife it would take to chop them properly, and you realize like 4 pecans in that you’ve made a serious error, but you think to yourself “there aren’t THAT many, this isn’t THAT stupid” so you go ahead and break up the rest of them with your fingers and then realize that it took you 15 minutes of your life because you were too stubborn to admit defeat EVEN TO YOURSELF?
You know that thing where you cook something really lovely at home, such as caramel made out of butter and brown sugar and it makes your hair smell like sugar for once instead of the steak you cooked in a pan that made your hair smell like charred meat, or channa masala because you were standing over the pan while you made it and now your hair smells like leftovers, especially when you first step into the shower, but this time you like it because it’s nice and sugary instead of totally gross?
You know that thing where you take a bite of something and know immediately that you have absolutely no control over how much of that thing you are about to eat and will also be totally consumed by thoughts of said thing during any of the times you manage NOT to eat it in the time it is still in your house, and then lament immediately when you do eat all of the thing and realize it’s out of your life forever?
All of those things happened to me while making these blondies. These are dense, chewy, caramely, nutty morsels of buttery, fatty perfection. They are what you want chocolate chip cookies to taste like. They are what you hope shortbread will be. They are absolutely what they serve during snack time before recess in Heaven. Also, they take place in one pot and are really, really easy. Hallelujah.
Pecan Blondies, from Fine Cooking
2 sticks (1 cup) of butter
3 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
healthy pinch of salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 1/2 cups of chopped, toasted pecans
Method: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, and butter or Pam a 9×13 baking dish. In a pot on medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
Then, let it boil gently for a couple minutes. Take the caramel mixture off the heat and let it cool until you can touch the pot. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla, and mix it into the cooled caramel, taking care not to cook your eggs*, because that is gross. Then, mix in the flour, salt and pecans until JUST combined, pouring it into the pan. Sprinkle some kosher salt on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Enjoy complete adulation from everyone you feed these to.
* A note on tempering eggs: the official recipe wants you to make sure your eggs are room temperature before mixing them into the warm caramel mixture. The reason is that if the caramel is too hot, it will cook the eggs instead of incorporate them into the batter, and that means your blondies will have scrambled eggs in them. Foul. To avoid this, try to make your eggs as close to the temperature of the caramel as possible. If you, like me, never ever have room temperature eggs because you never plan anything food-related that far in advance, you can break your eggs and yolks into a bowl, and whisk them together over another bowl of hot water to warm them up a bit, though the process of whisking the eggs together in a warmer bowl will do that as well. Then, whisk the egg mixture into the caramel a little at a time, whisking the whole thing constantly until the eggs are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.