I wasn’t lying when I said I was having a serious moment with baking.
It seems like every day my stomach demands a new baked concoction to satisfy my seemingly unending sweet tooth, and each day I willingly succumb to the cravings. You would think that after consuming a whole banana cream pie (recipe to come later!), copious amounts of chocolate covered peanut butter balls, cupcakes, M&M cookies and an obscene amount of kourdabiedes in the last week that not only would I be sick of baking, but my palate wouldn’t be able to handle one more granule of sugar. But alas, that’s not the case. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking that the need to create hundreds of baked goods is a sign that labor is impending, but being two days past my due date, that rationalization seems a little far-fetched.
The sweet tooth has gotten so bad, that last week, I had this insatiable longing for gingerbread – I don’t even like gingerbread. Or at least, I thought I didn’t like it. After daydreaming about a classic gingerbread cookie and a gooey blondie, I made it my mission to crank out one last recipe before I close the doors to the kitchen completely until this child decides to make his/her presence known.
And the gingerbread blondie was born.
I wasn’t even sure this recipe would turn out, since I got a little lazy in the development phase, but the stars seem to have aligned for me, because what emerged from the oven was a gooey, perfectly spiced, brown butter gingerbread blondie fit for a Martha Stewart-worthy cookie basket.
The gooey factor in this blondie comes from the browned butter and the addition of one egg and one egg yolk, while the gingerbread essence comes from thick, syrupy molasses, plenty of ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and just a tiny pinch of cardamom. If you like your gingerbread a little more on the spicy side, add in a little bit more ginger and cinnamon, and vice versa for less spice.
The key to making the perfect blondie not only lies within the ingredients, but also in the amount of time you cook the batter. Regardless of how much butter and eggs you use, if you overcook the batter, you’ll lose that gooey factor. I always error on the side of caution, and pull the blondies out when they look just a little bit underdone.
Once they’re cool, slice and dust with plenty of powdered sugar, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, a brown butter cream cheese icing would take these over the edge….
- 1 stick + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ cup molases
- 1½ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 8x8 square baking pan.
- Add butter to a small skillet. Turn the flame on a medium-high and let the butter melt. Once the butter starts to brown, swirl the pan until the butter is a deep, golden brown and smells very nutty. Pour into a glass bowl and let cool for five minutes.
- Once the butter has cooled slightly, add brown sugar, eggs and molasses. Stir with a wooden spoon until combine.
- In another bowl, whisk together, flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and salt until combined. Add to wet ingredients. Stir just until combined. (Do not over mix!)
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until top is set and batter is firm, but a toothpick comes out with some crumbs attached, 15-18 minutes.. DO NOT OVERBAKE!
- Let cool for 15 minutes and cut into squares.