My younger brother is a swell guy. Growing up our age difference was fairly significant - five years - so we had little in common. But these days that gap hardly matters. We chat like old friends on the phone, and he adores being Uncle Will to my daughter.
These days I am embracing motherhood, food writing and cooking, while Will travels the world as a Lt.JG in the Coast Guard. Due to his hectic schedule we don't see him often, but when we do the reunion is always full of laughter and fun. Although our everyday lives differ, we still have many things in common. Including our love of good food.
Since we both grew up in a household of excellent cooks it is no surprise that Will knows his way around the kitchen. To prove it, last month he gave me his formula for burgers, which I shared with you here, and it was amazingly popular with readers. During Uncle Will's burger mania I received several requests for more of his recipes. So, being the awesome older sister that I am, I have invited him back for another post. This time, it turns out, he is not grilling - which I used to think was his forte - but baking. Yes it's true, just when I thought he'd be forever perfecting hash marks, he decides to fire up the KitchenAid mixer instead.
My favorite part about this recipe is that Will brought it back with him from summer camp in 1994. He was so smitten with the brown sugar blondies the cafeteria served, he actually wrote down the cooks recipe in his jagged 12 year-old script (the original is pictured below), and brought it home to my mother! Needless to say, she got a huge kick out of his request for Dirty Blondies and has been making these for him ever since. When Will moved away for college she taught him how to prepare these in his own kitchen, and to this day he makes a fresh batch at least once a week.
When Will made this for us on our last visit to Cooperstown he allowed me to photograph his superior baking skills. Like a true Naptime Chef-expert he whipped together the batter while my daughter was asleep, and had them cooling out of the oven long before she woke up. With five adults and one child in the house these obviously did not last long. None of us could resist the warm chewy blondies, studded with a generous dose of chocolate chips. We liked to eat them after dinner with a big bowl of vanilla ice-cream, but also sneaked several nibbles during the daytime until they were all gone. I am sure these will be as big a hit in your house as they were in ours. In fact, I am so confident that these will be popular I've already asked Will to prepare another guest recipe for this fall, I can't wait to see what he turns up next.
Uncle Will's Dirty Blondies
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 c. flour
1 c. chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Whip the butter and sugar together in a mixer until well incorporated. Add vanilla, baking soda, the egg and flour. Mix on a low speed until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
3. Prepare a greased 8x8 pan or 7x11pan and pour in batter.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until top of blondies are browned and set.
Naptime Recipe Props: The simplicity of the ingredients and batter makes these a snap to prepare at any time of the day or night. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a last minute sweet-treat, or for someone who needs a break from traditional brownies.
Naptime Stopwatch: The batter takes Will about 5 minutes to prepare, then it is just a matter of making sure they don't burn in the oven.
Naptime Reviews: Blondies are not just for kids, they are refined and sweet enough for adults, too. If you want to serve them at a more formal affair simply cut them into small squares and place them on a decorative plate.