Saturday, February 6, 2010

[Cookie 062] Brown Butter Toffee Blondies

Okay, so I'm 100% sure that my dentist hates me right now. Well, let me take that back. He probably disapproves of me right about now, but loves the fact that after eating these Brown Butter Toffee Blondies, I'm probably going to need 3 more fillings and caps on several teeth that I chipped while eating these. So, considering that he's going to be making a lot of money off of me, he probably doesn't hate me--the contrary! But still, I hate me. Because these cookies sucked.

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I'm embarrassed even posting this picture!

What's worse, is I perused the Martha Stewart website and read the comments on this recipe, and everyone loved them and said they were just the bees knees. I messed up. Well, I had an accomplice (*cough*Emily*cough*), but either way, something went haywire. I could easily blame it on the craziness of my oven, which as of late has gotten even more unpredictable, but really I should have known better. Here's what went down:

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It started off a little rocky when we couldn't find toffee bits anywhere, and we couldn't even find Heath Bars to use as substitute. Instead, we chose to use hard caramels, which required a little bit of demolition work on Emily's behalf. Fortunately, it worked out decently, but they really do get stuck in your teeth like no other. Next time, if I can't find toffee bits, I'd probably use Butterscotch bits instead, just because I think they'd bake up better and are easier to chew. But even still, if that was our only problem I'd still be happy--it got a lot worse from there.

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So we browned the butter (to perfection, might I add!) and mixed up the batter with my awesome hand mixer, and dumped it all into my baking dish and put it into the oven. We waited and waited, got hungry, ate some Indian food, chatted, danced, I dunno, and then we checked on them. Cake tester should come out with a few crumbs, Martha? Well, it came out completely drenched in batter. That's not right. Back into the oven with you!

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And we wait. We watch some TV, YouTube, I don't even remember what we did, but we waited. And checked again. Same situation. Wait. Check--still liquid batter. We essentially baked it for DOUBLE the amount of time. Now, if I wasn't suffering from a brain cavity with no brain in it, I would have realized that this is not the best idea. Underbaked is ALWAYS BETTER than overbaked. End result: BROWN-BUTTER TOFFEE BRICKS!

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Honestly, why did I even bother taking pictures of this?!

Siiiigh. Inedible. Completely, entirely, totally uneatable. And yet, I tried to eat it anyway. And that's how I broke all of the teeth in my mouth. Yep, I better start looking for a retirement home in Florida right now, because I already need dentures. That being said, I think these blondies have great potential. And I really really really really want you to make them and tell me how they turn out! The batter tasted so delicious--especially when you really brown the butter so it gets really golden looking. God, I'm so disappointed! Maybe I'll make these again, but newer cookies call.

So I call on you, faithful reader, to revise my mistakes, avenge my errors (???), whatever you can do. Do it. Make these. I trust you--at least I trust you far more than I trust my oven/judgement. And that's all that matters, so get goin'. Into the kitchen! Brown that butter baby!

Brown-Butter Toffee Blondies
Makes about 1 dozen

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup toffee bits

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter and flour parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine browned butter and both sugars; stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Attach bowl to mixer; add eggs. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour mixture, walnuts, and toffee bits. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before turning out of pan onto a cutting board. Peel off parchment paper; cut blondies into 3-inch squares. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 3.5/5 (The only "difficulty" is browning the butter enough so that it has a great flavor, but without burning it--but don't be too shy! Really get it golden!)
Ingredient Accessibility: 2/5 (WHERE DO I FIND TOFFEE BITS?!)
Tastiness: 4/5 (based on the batter alone)
Attractiveness: 3/5
Is it worth it?: I think it would be, if you do it right. I strongly suggest you try it!

{Pairings}
Drink: Hazelnut coffee anyone!?
Song: I Should Have Known Better -- The Beatles (oh god watch this clip! I love this movie more than life itself)
Activity: For me--A trip to the dentist. For you--Laughing at me? Or watching A Hard Day's Night while eating the entire batch of these blondies. That would be heaven.

9 comments:

ali said...

oh, I feel your pain! Nothing hurts quite like a baking experience gone sour. Get back on the horse (you know, after taking the proper amount of time to sulk)!

screwdestiny said...

Aw, I'm sorry they didn't turn out. I live in a place with very high altitude so I know how frustrating it can be when something I'm baking clearly does not have the right directions.

anamarva said...

Are there any left? :D

Barbara E said...

You don't have that many total failures. Too bad on this one. Protect those pearly whites!!! I'll be talking to Doc V. on Tuesday.

Rachel said...

I think we all feel your pain! So strange that Martha would publish a recipe with such a screwy baking time. I'm not sure if I can help you there, but I would suggest making your own toffee next time. I've had really good luck with this recipe: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/159/English-Toffee

It's always been reliably successful for me; I've used it in many recipes when I couldn't find real toffee bits in the store. The only special equipment needed is a thermometer. Good luck!

Kim said...

Sorry to hear that they didn't work out. You're definitely right about your dentist. Seems like they always have to find something wrong with your teeth to keep you coming back.

Taylor said...

um that picture of emily with the hammer is amazing

Nicole said...

I bought Heath toffee bits at my grocery store this weekend (granted, I'm in suburbia). They usually have bags with the chocolate chips.

jfklds said...

i love those three butter pictures...
haha your toffee thing looks like a meteorite. better luck next time... SUCKAH'