Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Forget for a minute about the city’s sudden craze for those potato-based rounds at Holy Donuts (because of a recent CNN feature) and take a look at another old timer—the inimitable blondie.
Basically a chocolate chip bar cookie there’s something about them that I’ve always found irresistible.
The other day I stopped into Two Fat Cats, the venerable bakery on the increasingly trendy India Street. Amongst all the cookies, whoopie pies and cupcakes I spied a plate of blondies in the cookie case—huge wedges of sublime sweetness--with all that butter, brown sugar, chocolate chips and pecan goodness. I bought several to have for dessert at home.
Of course they were magnificent, but there was something different about them..
The next day I went back to the bakery and mentioned to the woman behind the counter, “Those blondies were the best.”
She pointed to a young man at his baking station and said, “He’s the guy responsible for them. He has a plate of blondies at his side that he nibbles on all day.”
I was introduced to the young baker, Evan Daigle, a former culinary student at SMCC and I complimented him on his blondies.
“Oh, those ‘drunken blondies’,” he said.
“Wait a minute. Is that the recipe from the cookbook, “Back in the Day”—their Drunk Blondies that they make in their Savannah, GA bakery? I’ve made them at home but yours are much better. ”
He said he’s altered the recipe somewhat. The “drunk” part comes from rum (instead of bourbon that’s in the original recipe), which is added to the cookie dough; he uses more nuts and bakes them for less time than instructed in the recipe, resulting in a less crumbly, more fudgy blondie. He also calls his version Drunken Blondies
If you don’t buy them at Two Fat Cats, here’s the adapted recipe to try at home.
Evan Daigle’s Drunken Blondies
(Adapted from the cookbook “Back in the Day: by Cheryl and Griffith Day)
Evan advises to have the eggs and butter at room temperature and to gently stir in the flour so as not to overbeat, which would make the dough less creamy.
Servings: 12 large bars
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoon rum
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13-by-2 inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over two opposite edges of the pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
Put the softened butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar until well combine. Add the eggs, vanilla and rum and mix well. Stir in on low speed the flour mixture followed by the pecans and chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares or wedges.
John Golden has written about food, dining and lifestyle subjects for Downeast magazine, the Boston Globe, Cottages and Gardens magazine, Gourmet magazine, Cuisine magazine, the New York Times and the New York Post.
In his highly opinionated blog, John reports on his experiences dining out all over Maine and his visits with food personalities, farmers and farmers’ markets throughout the state.