After years of thinking about a KitchenAid stand mixer and hoping that KitchenAid will just send me one (I'm a blogger y'all....kidding...not totally), I finally did it. I SPLURGED and bought one for myself. Because if I don't treat myself, who would? This was sort of an impulsive purchase...even though I've looked at several models over the years and posted several links on my FB page getting my friends' opinions, I've never REALLY seriously thought about buying one...after all, I'm not much of a baker. But then people said it did not matter: I will just find uses for it.
Plus, they are SOOOO pretty. SOOOOOOOOOOO, earlier this month I was watching a show on QVC and they had a new model of the KitchenAid stand mixer for a great value in a zillion colors. I sort of wanted a bright yellow one, but theirs was really light, so I went with my standard favorite kitchen color: RED.
How gorgeous is it??? I'm still thinking about what to name it ;)
Ina Garten's Chocolate Chunk Blondies from her Foolproof cookbook
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate chunks, such as Nestlé's
Shout out to Madecasse for sending me a sample of their wonderful pure vanilla extract. It has an intoxicating sweet scent and was a great addition to the recipe.
"The beans for this extract are hand-cultivated on the northeast coast of Madagascar.
Two-fold "Baker's Secret" formula made with 2x the beans of regular extracts."
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well, scraping down the bowl. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and with the mixer still on low, slowly add flour mixture to the butter mixture. Fold the walnuts and chocolate chunks in with a rubber spatula.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes exactly. Don't overbake! A toothpick may not come out clean. Cool completely in the pan and cut into bars.
Ta da! Clearly I could not wait until the blondies were completely cooled. They smelled too good. So I took out a chunk and ate it warm with a cold cup of milk. DIVINE. Even though I used large chocolate chips instead of chocolate chunks, they melted beautifully and made this such a decadent dessert. Also, using Kosher salt added a great contrast to the sweetness of the dessert.
This was another successful recipe by the Barefoot Contessa.
Once the blondies cooled, they became thinner and more solid. They were still awesome, but I preferred them warm and gooey.
And guess what? They are wonderful to share with friends. Cut into pieces, wrap in parchment paper and tie with a bow.
Other recipes I've made from Foolproof:
Ina Garten's Carrot Cake Recipe from Foolproof Cookbook
What to do with a Boneless Leg of Lamb? Ina to the rescue.
Love Chickpeas But Tired of Hummus? Ina Garten Can Help!
What to do with White Beans? Ina to the Rescue