Coconut Blondies with Macadamias and Toffee
Blondies Have More Fun: Forget the dumb blondie jokes. Brownie’s sexy sister is one smart cookie.
Why, I ask you, should brownies always steal the spotlight? I mean, I love a good brownie as much as the next guy, er, girl. But blondies? These blondies? I could tell you how moist they are. Chewy on the inside but with that desired crunch on the outside. I could further explain that when you sink your teeth into them, it’s a like a festival of flavors for your taste buds – you get bits of sugary toffee, laced with sweet, creamy coconut. And nutty macadamias. Oh, and that unmistakable, divine, rich butterscotch ka-pow! that lingers on your tongue. I could tell you that they’re everything you look for in a blondie. I could. But don’t take my word for it. I’m not bragging (okay, well maybe I am just a little), but these are a few quotes from some folks who have tried them:
“These are the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. I’m not kidding!” Gee, thanks!
“Hands-down our favorite dessert of all time!” It still counts if it’s your parents saying that, right?
“I had to walk away from the plate. I’d eat the whole thing!” Heard that!
“Cheryl?” a lady asks, holding up with her right hand what was left of a large slice, chewing with relish, while shaking her head from side-to-side; slowly closes her eyes and says nothing more but merely moans in pleasure. Now, that made me smile!
“Ridiculous. O…M…G they’re soooo good.” OMG is right!
A party-goer who enjoyed one sample then returned for four more pieces for her “kids.” I had to giggle at that one.
But my blondie didn’t like the blondies. Can you believe that? In fact, he asked me not to make any more. Pleaded. Begged me. (Not really, but that sounded good.) He spoke in that tone – you know, the one usually reserved for women, that unconvincingly says, “Please don’t,” but the subtext really means “Please do!” Not that I have ever used that tactic [cough]. And, just as a side bar for all you lovely readers of the male persuasion, when it comes to speaking the same language, yes, your woman expects you to be a mind-reader (didn’t you get the memo?). But for those of you lacking in the E.S.P. (not ESPN, by the way) department, here are a few helpful hints in breaking the femalese code…what women say, but what they really mean. Oh, and you’ll definitely want to take special precautions whenever you hear her utter the word “fine” or “need.” Just sayin’.
(1). “I’m fine.” = This means that “No, I am NOT fine” and you had better watch out. (2). “Fine, do what you want.” = No, it’s not fine and I dare you to do it. (3). “I’m not upset.” = Of course I’m upset, you moron! (4). “How much do you love me?” = Either I did something today that you’re really not going to like OR I want to buy something really expensive. (5). “It’s your decision.” = The correct decision should really be obvious by now. (6). “I like your friends, but…” = I hate your friends. (7). “Look, we need to talk.” That means I need to complain about something you’re not doing right. (8). “I’ll be ready in just a minute.” = Let me put on my make-up, fix my hair and try on a couple more outfits. You may want to get comfortable for a little while. (9). “Sure, go ahead.” = This is a trick! You’d better not or you will pay dearly for this later. (10). Yes means No…No means No…and Maybe means Absolutely Not.
There! Hope it helps.
Anyway, back to why Adam didn’t even want to shoot this post! Why, you ask? Because he doesn’t like these coconut blondies. He l-o-v-e-s them and he cannot, absolutely cannot, resist eating them. But, he admits, the indulgence is totally worth all that extra gym time. Bonus! Surely, you know this one, guys. If she says, “Does this [blank] make me look fat?” Warning, Will Robinson! Code Red! Danger!!! You had better tell her she’s beautiful. Pronto! Say it like you mean it! And remember, if you’re gonna lie, lie quickly!
One of the things that I love about this recipe is that it’s infinitely flexible. Not a fan of toffee bits? Switch ‘em out for chocolate morsels. Prefer walnuts to macadamias? Be my guest. No matter what swaps you decide to make (if any), these decadent bar cookies should have a disclaimer on them they’re so addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup toffee bits
- 1-1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9-x-13-x-2 baking dish (room temperature or softened butter makes this step incredibly easier). In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In another bowl, combine the butter and sugars, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Switch to a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula and stir in the dry ingredients until well-blended. Fold in the nuts, toffee and coconut until nicely mixed. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Place the pan on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until the top is nicely golden brown, 40 minutes.
- Cool in pan before cutting into squares.
Planning: Well-wrapped, the blondies will keep at room temperature for two or three days.
Product Purity: Salt does wonders for baked goods. Although kosher salt is my default choice for cooking, I use table salt for baking. Please, please only use pure vanilla extract. My choice is always Nielsen-Massey extracts.
Presentation: Of course, you can certainly serve these blondies as is, on their own with a cold glass of milk. But, if you like to go over the top (not that I ever would. Or do. Nope, not me.) serve them warm with a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream.
© 2012 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Content and photography © 2013 Hutchstone, LLC. All rights reserved.