Although brownies are a wonderful dessert, I'm also a huge fan of their paler cousin, blondies. Blondies are sort of like a giant chocolate chip cookie, baked in a brownie pan. This particular version is fantastic - the blondies are super moist and chewy and they get lots of great crunch from walnuts and chocolate chunks. Unless you're making these for kids, do not skip the dark rum - it adds really yummy flavor to the bars. Definitely cut these into small squares, as they're fairly rich...plus, that way you can eat more than one! These are moist enough that they keep well for a few days, and the rum flavor will get a bit stronger over time.
Chocolate Chunk-Walnut Blondies (adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich)
Makes one 13x9 pan
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1-3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 T dark rum
2/3 cup plus 2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (divided)
1 cup chocolate chunks or coarsely chopped chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 pan with oil.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. Stir together the butter and sugar, and then scrape into a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the mixture melts and just starts to bubble. Let cool slightly, and then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla and rum.
4. Stir in the flour, and then 2/3 cup of the walnuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
5. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining 2/3 cup walnuts and the chocolate chunks.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan. Cool in pan.