For weeks I’d been needing to replace some herbs/spices and the list kept growing longer. Finally on Sunday, I made it to The Spice House. I’d been out of cinnamon for a couple weeks and as soon as I got home, I wanted to bake a fall dessert (which has to include cinnamon, of course). My original thought was to make pumpkin cupcakes, but I forgot I was out of a particular ingredient. My mind went to blondies–the easy, default dessert–but I didn’t have any chips or anything to stir in. Then, I remembered the apples I had, and became sold on making blondies with chopped apples and cinnamon.
I’ve made blondies quite a bit, and tend to use a few different recipes, including ones from Mark Bittman & Cook’s Illustrated. What I like about Mark Bittman’s blondie base (besides the fact that they produce delicious blondies, of course) is that it only makes an 8″ square pan–perfect for a small household–and the ingredients are easy to remember – 1 of everything. I end up making these on a whim often just because of the ease of the recipe and preparation. I did adapt the “1” rule a bit below, though (adding a little baking soda and swapping out some of the vanilla extract for almond).
These were so good! Ooey gooey blondies that tasted like fall. Mmm.
As I tend to do with most glazes, I accidentally added too much milk & then didn’t feel like adding more sugar to make it drizzle better. 🙂 So of course if you want to make these prettier, just keep adding sugar (and then if you’re like me, add too much and then have to add more milk and start the WHOLE thing over again.. ;).
Blondie base adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 medium apple, peeled and diced
2/3 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
milk or cream
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 pan.
Mix together the brown sugar and butter. Add the egg, vanilla and almond, whisking until just combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Add that to the butter mixture, folding with a spatula at the end so as not to overmix. Fold in apples and walnuts. Pour the mixture into the baking dish, and smooth the top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until set in the middle.
To make the glaze, combine the confectioners sugar and maple syrup, and drizzle in milk until you get the consistency you want. Drizzle over slightly cooled blondies.