Sometimes you want a bar with a little more oomph. These are it.
Hi guys btw!
Blondies are a pretty solid dessert on their own. I like to make mine with dark brown sugar to really add more of that caramel-y flavor to things. That’s part of the reason these ones look so dark in color.
Blondies are kind of like brownies except without the chocolate, and with brown sugar (though some classic brownies already use brown sugar). The result is a dense, sweet bar with a flakey, crackly top just like you would expect from the classic version.
And anyways, if you’re gonna do it, let’s really bake today. I’m adding a good splash of bourbon and instant espresso powder that really packs in the flavor. I’d say go with a whiskey that you like to drink here- the flavor will come through. I really like Breckenridge bourbon- this isn’t sponsored, I just really like ’em.
So, brown sugar, espresso, bourbon, what’s not to like? Well, I also threw in some chocolate chips because why the heck not. We’re doing it all today. In the end, you’ll be left with an intensely flavored and satisfying bar that you’ll keep coming back to.
Bonus points if you decide to cut them into abstract pieces like I did for absolutely no good reason. Actually, bonus points if you have a square pan clean so you can make these like a normal person (I did not).
Espresso Bourbon Blondies
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbs. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 3 tbs. instant espresso powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch pan (or two 8 inch round pans). Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together over low heat until completely melted and combined. Remove from heat, and beat in the eggs, vanilla extract, and bourbon.
Stir in the flour, espresso powder, salt, and chocolate chunks until the batter is smooth. Pour into your prepared pan(s). Bake for 28-30 minutes until the bars look set, and a toothpick inserted into the pan about 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Cool completely and enjoy!
I’ve been working on some simple recipes lately, as you guys might have noticed. Brownies are a solid recipe to have in your arsenal honestly, so let’s make it a one-bowl recipe too.
In fact, if you make these in a nonstick, oven-safe pot, it’s totally one dish, no additional baking pan.
Here’s what it’s going to look like as you go along:
BUT, don’t worry if you don’t have that. Simply make these bad boys in whatever pot you have, and then pour them into a greased square cake pan, the results are totally the same.
So let’s talk about what you want in a brownie. There was a short time in my life where I preferred to make cake-like brownies, and I think I just didn’t fully yet appreciate the greatness of fudgey brownies. So, we want them to be fudgey and chewy. We want them to be super chocolatey, and we want that flaky, thin crust to form over the top. If you’re like me, you want the edges to be extra chewy. And if you are like my husband, you want nuts in the mix.
This recipe is everything. All of those things. We’re adding chocolate in three ways- first, with unsweetened baking chocolate melted together the butter. Next, with a little cocoa powder. And last, with some chocolate chips. ALL OF THE CHOCOLATE.
sorry for yelling.
So listen, throw in whatever you want. Walnuts if you prefer, hazelnuts, swirl in some peanut butter over the top, whatever your heart desires- it’s a flexible recipe guys. Enjoy!
One Bowl Brownies
If you use a non-stick pot that is about 8 or 9 inches around, you can even bake the brownies right in there! Otherwise, use an 8-inch square cake pan.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 tbs. cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. If you are using a non-stick, oven-safe pot to mix and bake in, there's no need to grease a baking dish. If not, grease an 8-inch cake pan, round or square. Set aside.
In a medium pot, about 8-9 inches in diameter if you are baking in the pot, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate over medium heat until smooth.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined. Then, add in the flour, cocoa powder, salt, espresso powder, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans. Stir until just combined. Pour the batter into your baking dish if using. Otherwise, place the pot directly into the oven, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick placed about two inches from the side of the pan comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!
Let’s swing things around to Spring today you guys, why wait?
I’m such a big fan of lemon bars. I love tart candy, and I love tart desserts too. One of my other fav recipes on this blog is for these Berry Crumb Lemon Bars, which are more of a traditional take.
So, speaking of traditional, these aren’t quite. Normal lemon bars are more of a jelly topping than a custard, but these ones are super creamy and smooth. PLUS, it’s actually a super short and easy recipe.
If you’ve ever made key lime pie before, you probably recognize the method here. Sweetened condensed milk takes away some of the measuring and dishes and ingredients here, making it super fast and easy to whip these babies up.
The crust is a lightly sweet, easy shortbread recipe- by the way, it’s a great recipe just as cookies too!
I’ve topped mine with a dusting of powdered sugar, but whipped cream would also be so awesome. Plus, they are fantastic on their own, you don’t even need to top them to find yourself eating two or three (or ten, whatever).
So anyways, these are one of my favorite things I’ve made in a long time. I’ve eaten a truly ridiculous amount of these bars during testing the last week, and it’s totally going to be weird now that they aren’t going to be a regular part of my diet.
Sometimes even when winter isn’t over, it’s nice to just brighten up the days with something like this. The lemon flavor really pops, and you’ll feel like it’s spring. I hope you guys make these- it’s a good one!
You like coffee, right? And chocolate, obviously. And so you probably like things that combine them. Cool, me too, glad we got that straight.
These bars are that. A sweet, rich, frosted cookie bar that tastes like deep dark chocolate and bold espresso. That description was dramatic, I know, but really I love these.
Also, can I just be honest with you for a minute when I say that sometimes baking several batches of individual cookies kinda just takes way too long? I start making cookies all the time and then by oven swap 5 I’d rather die than keep baking. So when you can just stuff all the cookie dough onto one pan, bake it one single time, and slice it up- DO IT.
Anyways, on to other matters.
My book is nearly done! Not published-done, but writing and photographing recipes is nearly complete, and I’m so thrilled. I can’t wait to look at all the work I’ve done finished and ready to send off. Also, I’m pretty sure my oven could use a little rest- I’ve been baking multiple times a day on the weekends you guys, pretty much every weekend.
So sometimes baking something easy, yet rewarding like these babies is the perfect thing. I use dark cocoa powder in all my recipes, including these. I’m not exactly sure what it is about living at a high altitude, but I just can’t get a strong chocolate flavor to come through with regular cocoa.
I actually use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, mainly because it’s available at regular grocery stores. Also though, it’s a blend of regular cocoa and dutch processed cocoa, so it interchanges nicely in recipes.
I’m also using instant expresso powder in this recipe, which brings out a strong coffee flavor without the need to dilute the cookies or frosting too much.
Hope you guys enjoy this one as much as I do!