I wanted to try a new blondie recipe I read about in the New York Times recently and used a coworker’s birthday as an excuse to do just that. The recipe included many things I love in sweets, especially chocolate, sugar and rum. The recipe was surprising easy for a New York Times recipe, which I often find to be complicated to make and difficult to find ingredients for. The blondies were delicious. The banana in the “middle” coupled with the chocolate crust on the bottom really balance together for a complex taste.
This recipe, unlike most American recipes, uses mass to measure most of the ingredients. While it was not something I was used to, I actually found the process of weighing the ingredients faster than the process of measuring each ingredient. Plus it saved time on cleaning up all those measuring instruments.
The recipe and pictures of the process are below.
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/4 c), more for greasing pan
200 g chocolate wafer cookies (to make about 3 c crumbs) (I used Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer, found either in the cookie aisle or near the ice cream)
55 g light brown sugar (about 1/4 c)
3 g fine sea salt (about 1/2 tsp), plus a pinch
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
455 g dark brown sugar (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (obviously, I used rum)
130 g all-purpose flour (about 1 c)
80 g toasted walnuts, chopped (about 1/2 c)
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)
Heat oven to 375° F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment, and grease with butter.
Melt 1 stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat or in microwave. Put the chocolate wafer cookies in the bowl of a food processor and process to make fine crumbs. Add the light brown sugar, melted butter and a pinch of salt. Process until the mixture is the consistency of damp sand. Dump the mixture into the pan and press it into an even layer. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the surface is firm. Remove the pan and set aside.
Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 12 tbsp butter, then let it cook until the foam subsides and butter turns a deep nut brown, about 5 minutes. Cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together bananas, eggs, dark brown sugar and rum. Whisk in brown butter. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and fine salt. Fold into batter along with the toasted walnuts. Pour the mixture over the prepared crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle top with flaky salt if using.
Transfer pan to oven and bake until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges with a few crumbs attached (or clean) but not wet, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack; cut into 24 bars.