Beat Quarantine Baking Boredom with this Decadent Dessert Mash-Up

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This new version of a tray-bake takes home-baking standby brownies and blondies to the next level.

Baking has always been a respite for me. It’s a way to focus my brain on a task, which helps reduce the noise of all of the other million little things clamoring for my attention. I just focus on measuring, sifting, and stirring, and the emails I need to answer or laundry I need to fold retreat to the back of my mind for a bit.

And—this is the best part—at the end of it all, I get to eat something delicious. Is there anything better than that? 

So, of course, I’ve been baking almost every other day during self-isolation. I’ve made macaroons, biscuits, blondies, doughnuts, and cinnamon buns. I even found the best-ever fudgy brownie recipe.

Blondies and brownies became my go-to, because I always have the ingredients I need on hand. I can go from I wish I was snacking on a chocolate-packed dessert right now to gooey, melty Chocolate Heaven in less than an hour without a trip to the store. 

It didn’t take long for me to start getting a little experimental with my favorite recipes. I added peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, nuts, sprinkles, raspberry preserves, orange gel, and all sorts of other things that happened to be in the back of my baking cabinet. 

But, I still found myself getting a little bored. 

I wanted more from my pandemic treats. I needed to innovate. I needed to take my recipe-creation skills to the next level (I don’t know if anyone else is experiencing boredom at this level, but I sure am). 

So, I rifled through my recipe box, gathered a few favorites, and started brainstorming (just like any good writing teacher). I had a wild idea. What if…I took my two favorite pandemic sweets and brought them together in a delicious dessert partnership?

That’s how the Brondie (Blownie?) was born. 

This brownie/blondie hybrid is almost too perfect.  It tastes chocolatey and vanilla-y and toffee-y. It’s fudgy and cakey at the same time. It looks like a baked-goods dream. And Brondies require less than a cup of flour and can be whipped up in fifteen minutes. 

I’m seriously delighted to share this treat with you because now that I’ve tried them, I can never go back. And they’re so, so easy. 

How to Make Brondies

This recipe isn’t complicated, but it does take some focus. Read the recipe in full before diving in. You’re really making two separate recipes and then putting them together to make one glorious dessert. 

This means that, while you’ll need ½ c. of melted butter total, you only need ¼ c. for each recipe. So, don’t go throwing ingredients from the list below into your batter all willy-nilly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

½ c. melted butter 

½ c. brown sugar

½ c.+ 1 Tbs. sugar

1 ½ tsp. vegetable oil

2 large eggs, whisked together in a bowl

2 tsp. vanilla

¾ c. flour

¼ c. cocoa powder

½ tsp. + ⅛ tsp. salt

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

This recipe makes one 8×8 pan of swirly goodness and takes about 45 minutes, baking time included.

Make the Batters

Preheat your oven to 350°. Line your pan with parchment paper. 

Make the Chocolate-Chip Blondie Batter 

  1. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, combine  ¼ c. of the melted butter and the brown sugar. Mix on medium speed until glossy and pale.
  2. Add ⅓ of the whisked egg mixture (do your best here–don’t worry about being exact) and 1 tsp. of the vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  3. Slowly add ½ c. of the flour and ⅛ tsp. of salt, mixing on the lowest setting until just combined. 
  4. Add ½ c. of the chocolate chips and stir until integrated throughout the batter.

Set the Blondie batter aside.

Make the Brownie Batter

  1. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, combine  ¼ c. of the melted butter, the cooking oil, and the sugar. Mix on medium speed until smooth and glossy.
  2. Add the remaining eggs and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  3. Sift together ¼ c. flour, ¼ c. cocoa powder, and ½ tsp. salt. Slowly add this mixture to the butter mixture. Stir until just combined.
  4. Add ½ c. of the chocolate chips and stir until integrated throughout the batter.

Set the brownie batter aside.

Okay, now it’s time to take these two already-delicious desserts and bring them together to create one mega-delicious dessert. 

Are you excited? I’m excited. 

Pour the blondie batter into the 8×8 inch pan in different spots, leaving gaps for the brownie batter to be poured in. Reserve about ¼ of the batter to add after adding the brownie batter. 

Pour the brownie batter in the holes and gaps between the globs of blondie batter until it’s gone. Dollop spoonfuls of the remaining blondie batter on top. 

Now, it’s Time to Swirl 

Use the back of a spoon to swirl the batters together, trying to get an even distribution of the two flavors throughout. Be careful not to mix the batters though, or you’ll end up with…well, I’m not sure what you’d end up with. It would probably actually taste pretty good, but it won’t be beautifully swirled. 

Finally, make sure the top is nice and smooth, and then pop the pan in the oven for 27-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, the top is glossy, and the edges are golden brown. 

Let the Brondies cool in the pan for about ten minutes, and then use the parchment paper to lift out the warm square of baked delight. Let cool an additional ten minutes. Then, cut into squares and enjoy. 

And, please, if you have a better name for this dessert than Brondies (Blownies?), leave your suggestions below. 

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