Friday, November 18th, 2011

Your Weekend Project: Ooey Gooey Maple Blondies

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to enter a baking competition. But I never would, because I’m chicken. The thought of losing… I don’t know, maybe I watched too much or didn’t watch enough Back to the Future as a kid but man, that kind of rejection? Not something I can handle, thanks.

Then a Williamsburg-based outfit called City Reliquary tweeted at me BECAUSE UGH THE INTERNET WHY IS IT THE WORSSSSSST THERE IS AN EMAIL ADDRESS RIGHT THERE IN MY PROFILE asking if I would donate a batch of Crack Brownies to a bake sale fundraiser they were holding for themselves. Oh man, and how flattered was I? So flattered that I agreed to donate a batch of the brownies and also a batch of something new I’d been working on, a recipe that to me is the Holy Grail of baked goods: Ooey Gooey Maple Blondies.

There is a small subset of superior humans who understand that maple is the greatest flavor profile in all the lands and all the seas, and those people just moaned right out loud, sitting there in their desk chairs. Don’t worry, the recipe is forthcoming, so that you can have a weekend project; I just need to work through some things first.

Back to Williamsburg: It turned out that in addition to the bake sale, the City Reliquary was also holding a baking competition. I gingerly asked if I could maybe enter a batch of the maple blondies in the contest, figuring that for sheer novelty, not to mention the fact that they are absolutely delicious—and I say this as someone who actually is kind of modest about her own achievements (no really. Stop laughing.)—they’d be a pretty tough to beat.

I was, um, not correct.

Those motherfuckers. They… they… I can’t even believe they did this. They voted my maple blondies first runner up.

The winner, my contact told me in the most grovelling terms possible, was a “traditional chocolate brownie.” And then! THEN! He had the nerve to ask me to enter the competition again next year, but with the crack brownies.

You know what? No I will not. Fuck you, Williamsburg! A traditional chocolate brownie? That’s what your limited little mind chose as the best of the bar and brownie category? You’ve got about as much imagination as the Upper East Side. Less actually, because you’ve never rolled into a black tie sporting a pair of pants that look like this without the benefit of irony.

Your bad taste and dessert myopia and, undoubtedly, terrible personal odors have robbed me of my will to live. Before I go, though, I do want to give the maple people the recipe. Consider it my legacy.

• In a large-ish saucepan, melt together 1 stick of butter (that’s 8 tablespoons or 113.4 grams, for those of you who are metrically oriented) (I don’t know, okay! I just used some converter thingie?) and 1 cup of brown sugar, stirring frequently to combine.

• Pull the pan off the heat and stir in ½ teaspoon of maple flavoring, ⅓ cup maple syrup and 1 teaspoon salt. Give everything a chance to cool off so that when you stir in the egg you don’t wind up with scrambled maple eggs, because yuck.

• When things have chilled out, go on and mix in 1 egg and 1 cup of flour. Pour the batter into a greased 8”x8” pan and bake the blondies at 350 for 20 minutes. That’s all she wrote!

A word about maple flavoring: It can be a teeny bit hard to find, but any decently sized grocery store should carry the imitation stuff. If you’re a snob—*side-eyes certain editors* [Editor's Note: Yesss?]—pure maple flavoring/extract exists to validate the fact that you’re an asshole. [Editor's Note: Correct! See here!]

I guess at this point I could suggest that you make a batch of these and a batch of Crack Brownies and bring them down for your very own bake-off at Zuccotti Park, but honestly I’m too depressed to do anything other than lie in bed and weep gently for the sorry state of my life.

Jolie Kerr is never opening her oven again, except to stick her head in it. Photo by "bogieharmond."

29 Comments / Post A Comment

Fuck you, Williamsburg!

I just excerpted this so that I could upthumb it.

Rebecca (#3,032)

@Clarence Rosario The City Reliquary is good people, but good people can still have dumb mouths.

Bittersweet (#765)

Wait…you got first runner-up to a "traditional chocolate brownie" that wasn't your own Crack Brownies? Wish I could give more thumbs-up to Clarence's comment…

These are gonna be great next weekend when I make people come over and help me hang Christmas lights on the house! This weekend my project is soldering the strings together because I can't stand the untidy sight of end-to-end receptacles on the roof line.

paperbuttons (#122,671)

"maple is the greatest flavor profile in all the lands and all the seas?" Yes!
"Ooey Gooey?" Even more yes!
"Traditional?" How has that ever excited anyone ever? You got robbed, girl.

C_Webb (#855)

I'm contemplating a maple-bourbon glaze on my bird next week, but I may just dose the sweet potatoes instead, since they didn't cost sixty damn dollars.

@C_Webb If you are also contemplating stuffing:

Cornbread Stuffing

Everything but the bacon, cilantro, salt and pepper was from Trader Joe’s. You can buy the ingredients anywhere and it may or may not produce a better result but I liked (mumble, mumble Sandra Lee*) that it really made it so much easier to have almost everything prepped.

In a saucepan mix together:
One and a half cups of chicken broth
Stuffing starter mix (onion, celery, fresh sage, parsley, thyme and rosemary)**
When the celery and onions are cooked (approximately 30 minutes) add
4 Tablespoons of butter (or more if you like, I used unsalted)

In a large bowl mix together:
One box of cornbread stuffing (discard the flavor mix or save it for later)
8 oz frozen green/yellow/red peppers diced
8 oz frozen cut white corn
8 oz cooked and diced bacon
Chopped fresh cilantro to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 or 2 oz bourbon to taste

Mix the cooked broth, onions, celery and herbs to the cornbread mixture. You can either stuff your turkey or bake it separately.

* Cocktail Time: Pour some boubon in to festive glass, add TJ’s Premium Egg Nog. Top it off with a tiny umbrella. When you set it down, voila it’s a tablescape!

**Stuffing Starter Mix
If you've been wondering where to start, this mix of diced vegetables and herbs is practically wearing a tag that screams "right here!" Equal to 1.5 yellow onions, 4 medium celery stalks, 6 sprigs of parsley, 3 sprigs of thyme, 1 sprig of rosemary and 4 sage leaves, this freshly prepared, chopped medley is designed to help you start enhancing your favorite stuffing. And since we want to ensure the very best start – each 16 ounce container of our Stuffing Starter Mix is only $2.99.

C_Webb (#855)

@kitten_witawip I an ALWAYS contemplating stuffing!

I usually do a sausage, cornbread, and cranberry stuffing with pecans, and I'm embarrassed — horrified in fact — to admit that until right now I had not considered the implications of my turkey flavor on my stuffing choice. Another reason to go with a straight brine, and save the maple bourbon baubles for next year.

Dave Bry (#422)

I appreciate your appreciation of the importance of salt in baked-goods recipes.

katiebakes (#32)


jolie (#16)

Salt is VERY important to me and also REALLY crucial to this recipe. In fact, this recipe works out EXTREMELY well when given the Crack Brownie treatment.

Even more importantly, Katie I'm so happy you've found your way here! You guys, Katie was the inspiration for this recipe, so please thanks her for, um, being an inspiration!

roboloki (#1,724)

thank you katie!

SeanP (#4,058)

@Dave Bry OMG yes. In fact, when I first read this, I was like "where's the salt?" I had to re-read the recipe before my faith in humanity was restored.

hockeymom (#143)

Jolie…this is to make you feel better.
In a previous life I worked on a cooking competition with Mark Bittman. He was a judge.
The competition was for home cooks, the topic…desserts.
There were all sorts of entries, but one guy thought he had it in the bag. He was going to bake all sorts of "traditional" sweets because he thought he could play on the judges' nostalgia or something.
He thought wrong.
And Bittman was the one who said something along the lines of "if you're going to be in a cooking competition, I expect something a little more than traditional."
I'm sure Bittman would have LOVED your Blondies.

Etruscan Duck (#9,366)

These sound so awesome I am gnawing on my maple desk. Maple is the best.

cherrispryte (#444)


Lemon or almond any day of the damn week. Every day of the damn week, for that matter.

melis (#1,854)

@cherrispryte COCONUT

roboloki (#1,724)

must. have. those. pants!

SeanP (#4,058)

@roboloki Me too. WEAR ALL THE PANTS

Thank you for this. Here is what an MRI of my brain at any given time looks like:

Maple syrup Maple syrup Maple syrup *ESPRESSOSHOT* Maple syrup

MythReindeer (#5,553)

I'm sorry, but blondies? Firefox doesn't even recognize that as a word.

O yes, I'd love some brownies without chocolate. Maybe I'll have one with some of Balk's whiskey without alcohol, and then we can have sex without physical sensation.

SeanP (#4,058)

@MythReindeer You are so wrong.

jolie (#16)

@SeanP He is, but you know what? MORE FOR US. Boom.

iwantyrskull (#1,706)

guys, I browned the butter. #ibrownedthebutter

You’ve got about as much imagination as the Upper East Side. Less actually, because you’ve never rolled into a black tie sporting a pair of pants that look like this without the benefit of irony.

I will make these for my super precious boyfriend who does not cook but made me a cake with home-made fondant for my birthday.

He directed me to the Crack Brownies recipe and we are still on the lookout for the salt.

LotaLota (#1,703)

Maple flavoring = fenugreek, for those who might find it under that name. When I was growing up, we got cans of corn syrup along with our government cheese. We'd buy a bottle of maple flavoring and stir it into the corn syrup. Maple syrup for the poors. Of course nowadays that's marketed as pancake syrup for everyone.

And Jolie, if you adore maple, you should try some of The Spice House's Gateway to the North Maple Sugar Seasoning. "..mixed with garlic and other savory flavors for an unbeatable balance of sweet and salty." It's very good.

I am making these even though I am not a maple aficionado because you, crack brownie queen, know baked goods.

HannibalV (#11,543)

I made these for Thanksgiving dessert, served warm with vanilla ice cream. They were gooood.

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