Chocolate lovers have their brownies, and the rest of us have their fair-complected counterpart, blondies. I’ve always loved a good blondie, with its buttery caramel flavor.
I love the ease of the basic recipe, which could be called One of Everything Blondies because it uses 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 pinch of salt and 1 cup of flour.
I could stop there and be perfectly happy with the result. But this week’s recipe goes further by adding some sweetened shredded coconut and chocolate chips. The combination of the blondie batter with the coconut and chocolate reminds me of the popular coconut-caramel-chocolate Girl Scout cookies.
If you want to double the recipe, bake it in a 9-by-13-inch dish and increase the baking time by 5-10 minutes.
COCONUT CHOCOLATE CHIP BLONDIES
1 stick (½ cup) butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup chocolate morsels
Melted chocolate, for decorating the blondies, optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Beat the butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again. Stir in the salt and flour and then fold in the shredded coconut and chocolate morsels.
Spread in the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, until edges are golden brown and batter is set in the center.
Cool completely on a rack before slicing. When cool, drizzle with the melted chocolate, if desired.
Makes nine large or 12 small blondies.
Variations abound. Omit the coconut and chocolate chips and replace them with the following:
• 1 cup of butterscotch chips for Butterscotch Blondies.
• 1 cup of white chocolate chips for White Chocolate Blondies.
• 1 cup of chopped, dried cherries and a teaspoon of almond extract for White Chocolate Cherry Blondies.
• 1 cup of chopped pecans for Butter Pecan Blondies.
• Keep the chocolate chips and replace the coconut with old-fashioned rolled oats for Chocolate Oatmeal Blondies.
• Add one cup of cooked, mashed sweet potatoes or pumpkin puree and 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon for Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Blondies. Combine 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar with two teaspoons of real maple syrup and drizzle over the top of the cooled blondies.
• Add one cup of chopped peanut butter cups or mini peanut butter cups and one cup of chopped pretzels for “Chubby Hubby” Blondies.