When I mentioned to some friends that I was planning on making some booze-spiked blondies, nearly every single one of them asked the same question: “What’s a ‘blondie’?”
It’s not a band, it’s not a comic strip, it’s a dessert bar — quite simply, a brownie sans chocolate.
A well made batch of blondies should be sweet and moist, just like brownies, and even have that “fudgey” texture that we all know and love. The thing is, though, that without the over-powering flavour of cocoa to charge in and take centre stage, one can add more subtle flavours to a blondie and have them come through, loud and clear.
So, what I’ve really been wanting to do is put a bottle of Jim Beam Red Stag that I bought to good use! Cherry bourbon? So good, especially with cola.
If you can’t find cherry bourbon, then regular bourbon will work, too. If you’re a teetotaler, then you have my sympathies — I can’t imagine my life without the luxury of alcohol, let alone anyone else’s!
Cherry Bourbon Blondies
*adapted from How to Cook Everything
- 1/2 cup (or 1 stick) butter, melted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup cherry bourbon
- 1 heaping teaspoon grated orange rind
- 1 cup & 2 tablespoons cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 heaping cup of maraschino cherries
- if using regular bourbon, use 1 cup packed brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 350°F (or 175°C). Grease and flour a square baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
Melt butter over low heat. Remove from stove top, allow to cool for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar. Beat until smooth. Add the extracts and the large egg, beat until the batter is smooth again. Next, add the cherry bourbon and grated orange rind (the orange perks up the flavour of the cherry really well!) and mix until completely smooth… again.
Stir in the flour and salt, taking care not to over-mix. It’s okay if your batter is a little lumpy. Lastly, fold in the maraschino cherries, reserving a few to scatter over top of the batter after it’s in the pan.
Pour the blondie batter into the prepared pan, scatter your remaining cherries on top, and bake for 25 ~ 30 minutes. The edges should be browned and the top should look completely done. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting.
After cutting, you might think that some of the insides of the blondies might look under-done, but they’re supposed to be that way! Mixing the melted butter with the brown sugar is what gives them that rich and fabulously fudgey texture.
These are even good to make ahead, since you can store them in an airtight container and let their flavours develop overnight. Yum!