This is going to be short because, for the first time in months, it feels like summer in Sydney, and we’re taking full advantage. We’ve just been to Cooper and Centennial Parks with a stop in between at a Jewish deli for some babka and bagels. Last night we saw a documentary in the Italian Film Festival, then went out to a lovely and hilariously named fish restaurant. In a little while we’re off to see our second film at the festival then out for our second dinner this week at the best Portuguese chicken place in the world.
In the midst of all this toing and froing, we learned at an inopportune hour that it was a neighbor’s birthday. But I had no cake! And no time to bake! What to do? This sounds like a job for the Mighty Blondie.
Virtually unknown in Australia, blondie is the cocoa-free twin of her brunette sister, brownie. She’s just as delicious and not at all high maintenance as her name implies. She needs just one bowl, one pan, one stick of butter, one cup of flour, one egg, one cup of brown sugar and about thirty minutes to get ready for the night. And when she makes her entrance she’s a real show stopper.
So next time you’ve forgotten a birthday, a going away party or a bake sale, remember the blondie. She’ll make it worth your while.
These blondies are ridiculously easy and endlessly adaptable. Leave out the baking powder if you don’t have it; increase the salt; add a glug of whiskey or rum; add walnuts or candied peel or liquor-soaked chopped prunes or white chocolate or toffee pieces. Just make sure you don’t overcook or cut them before they cool. Follow these simple rules and the blondie will be your friend forever.
MAKES between 12 – 25 (depending on how you slice it AND makes for a great, casual, love-me-because-I-ply-you-with sweets kind of gift)
8 tablespoons (225 grams / 1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder (if you’ve got it)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup additions such as chocolate chips, raisins or nuts
Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Grease an 8″x8″ brownie pan.
Beat melted butter with brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.
Add salt, stir in the flour and baking powder and then any additions.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container.