Sunday, March 6, 2011

[Cookie 101] Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

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So, I don't know if anyone noticed or cared, but I'm not doing the roundup of the past 10 recipes and reviewing them all. I barely have enough time (read: I barely have enough willpower) to write the regular blog posts here, so I'm getting rid of the excess baggage. I don't think I'm letting anyone down. Right? Yeah, I doubt anyone even knows what I'm talking about. Good.

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Aaaanyways, let's get on to the first cookie of the new centennial! Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies are probably not one of the recipes you've been itching to make. Me neither--they definitely weren't one of the recipes I've had my eye on for a while. They just sort of slipped under my radar and I always figured I'd make them some time, just not now. Well, I finally made them on a whim one afternoon, and they totally warranted my indifference. They were bland, boring looking, and pretty drab. I mean seriously--look at them! Totally lame.

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I guess this is the part where I generally try to convince you to make these cookies because they are actually better than they look or something, but I'm not going to try and deceive you. If you want blondies, make these (even though I screwed up that recipe royally, I think that they are probably supposed to be delicious). But these guys, these guys here...they taste more like a quick bread, like banana bread without the bananas. And who would want that? Nobody! And the cream cheese? Well, at least they had that, but it wasn't enough to keep me interested.

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Now, maybe you're not convinced not to make these, and you still want to. Well, maybe you could spice them up a bit--literally, add a little nutmeg or cinnamon. Or maybe stir in some chocolate swirls, or even add some nuts. Something. Anything. Oh, or try adding a streusel topping! That always makes things better.

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Well, I guess I don't have much to say other than that. The recipe is super simple and it's always mildly entertaining getting to swirl two batters together like this. But other than that, I'd pass this guy up.

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I'm starting to realize that all the recipes I have left to bake are either: A) Totally time consuming and tedious; B) Way too fatty to make just for 3 people; C) Or both. Hm. Well, my obsessive-compulsive desire to finish the project still prevails, so I guess you'll see how this all turns out.

c u l8r

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Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies
Makes 9 large or 16 small squares

Ingredients

  • 11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 2/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
  • Whisk together 1 2/3 cups flour, the baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.
  • Put 9 tablespoons butter and the brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Put cream cheese, granulated sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until just smooth.
  • Pour half the blondie batter into prepared pan, and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Spoon two-thirds of cream-cheese mixture on top, and spread evenly. Drop dollops of remaining batter on top (spacing about 1 inch apart), and spread. Top with dollops of remaining cream-cheese mixture, about 1 inch apart.
  • Gently swirl cream cheese mixture into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 45 to 47 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Blondies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

  • ****
    {End Results}
    Baking Difficultly: 2/5
    Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
    Tastiness: 2/5
    Attractiveness: 2/5
    Is it worth it?: To put it plainly, no. But then again, they require zero effort.

    {Pairings}
    Drink: Nothing. Seltzer?
    Song: Saw the Smith Westerns play last night, and now I am even more in love with them than before. Their single Weekend is adorable x 100000 and has a great music video.
    Activity: Skip making these, and just listen to them ^

    8 comments:

    Ana Rita said...

    Hummmm...Loved the result....

    I'll try this!

    Kisses,
    Rita

    Anonymous said...

    WOW your blog is soooo original..maybe they should make it into a movie..maybe Martha Stewart can play herself and Amy Adams can play you..LOL

    Barbara E said...

    The plate is pretty and the batter looks tasty. I'm hungry and I want to lick the bowl -- I miss you (not just your cookies)...

    Sarah Abreu said...

    Hi, Lizzie! I loved your blog! And will follow you from now on. And, I would like to ask you for a permission to copy your idea, but with a different book. The book is called 500 cookies, by Philippa Vanstone, and, of course, I will not make all 500, but 100 of them. And will translate the recipes into Portuguese, as I am in Brazil.
    Let me know. I would love to exchange the experience!

    All the best.
    Sarah

    Sarah Abreu said...

    THANKS, Lizzie! I'll start soon!

    Monica H said...

    I actually love blondies and cream cheese and I wanted to make these for a long time. A friend of mine (a few states apart) and I baked them together and they were terrible! The texture was strange, not enough cream cheese and lemon to save these. I totally agree with you.

    LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

    these sound so good! love the cheesecake swirl in these blondies!

    Kara said...

    I love these blondies! Cream cheese is wonderful...Yum!
    Love your blog! New follower :D
    Thanks!!

    Kara :)

    http://lovehomebird.blogspot.com/