My friend Steph had a birthday in July, and I’d actually get to see her in person on her birthday because she was in town for a missions trip!
So, I thought, hmmmmm what can I bake her? It needed to be something that didn’t require refrigeration, because I was going to drive to see her after work, so it had to make the 1 hour+ car ride. Plus, I didn’t think she’d have access to a fridge where she was staying. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t do anything fancier like a cake or tart, but it turned out to be a good thing, because I learned how to be more creative. Blondies and brownies came to my mind first. Everyone does brownies, right? But what could I do that would make them special? I wanted to avoid adding chocolate, because I feel that it’s a tasty but overused addition.
Steph loves coffee. So……..I opened my baking cabinet and spied my espresso powder. AHA! Espresso blondies. Peeerfect!
Chewy. Espresso/Coffee-y. Nutty. Crackly top. What else could you ask for in a blondie? These are pretty good, I have to say….please try them!
Oh, yeah! And when people ask you what these are, remember…eSpresso has no X in it 😉 ESpresso, please!
Espresso Walnut Blondies
makes a 9×9 pan, however many servings that is to you 🙂
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided
3/8 cup packed light brown sugar
3/8 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp espresso powder
1 large egg
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts , coarsely chopped
Fleur de sel or other coarse salt for sprinkling
1) Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9×9 pan, or line it with parchment paper.
2) Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together.
3) Brown half the butter on the stove; heat it on medium. The butter will foam and sputter. When the milk solids turn brownish and most of the sputtering has stopped, it is done. Add the brown sugar to the browned butter to stop the cooking and help cool it down.
4) Cream the remaining butter with the white sugar and espresso power. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Then, add the browned butter and brown sugar combination. Mix until all the sugars and espresso powder are completely dissolved. You should not be able to see any flecks, but it should be one nice, smooth matrix of gooeyness.
5) Add the flour to the egg/butter/sugar/espresso mixture, and fold and stir to combine well. Add the walnuts. Spread into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with fleur de sel.
6) Start to check on it after 20 minutes; it is done when the edges have started to pull away from the edges and the top should be a light golden brown. Bake time will be around 25-30 minutes in total. Make sure you don’t over bake them; they will firm up a LOT after they have cooled.
7) Cool on a wire rack, if you can wait.
-You can certainly add chocolate chunks too, but I wanted to practice restraint and have the espresso be the main star.
-If you don’t have walnuts, pecans could work as well.