Unctuous. The first word that came to me after I took a bite...these babies are the ultimate in soft and yieldingly fudgy blondies... Dots of soft diced strawberry and orange zest throughout and a ridiculous easy glaze that hardens with a pretty shine. The chubby squares look special--ideal for occasions when you want to impress and give people a lovely dessert. Did I make these for a special occasion to impress people? I did not. It was a regular day, made sweetly better. (Which is fine, too!)
Notes: butter is unsalted.
STRAWBERRY ORANGE BLONDIES
Ingredients: 1 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg at room temperature, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/4 cup orange juice, zest of 1/2 orange, 2 cups + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 cup diced strawberries.
For the glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 1/2 tbsp. orange juice, 1 tbsp. heavy cream, zest of 1/2 orange.
Makes about 12 blondies.
1. Preheat and prep: Preheat the oven to 350* and line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper in one direction. 2. Make the cake batter: Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. Add the egg, ornage zest, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Mix in the orange juice. (At this point, it will seem like the juice doesn't mix in very well- don't worry.) Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in the diced strawberries and spread into the baking dish. (Batter is heavy and sticky, keep going...) 3. Bake and glaze: Bake blondies for 40-45 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. Cool for 1 hour on the counter. Make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients until smooth and shiny. Spread over the blondies, allow to set for 1-3 hours before cutting.
1. For perfect looking (special occasion) blondies, cool for 2 hours, then allow the glaze to set for another two. Using a sharp thin knife, loosen the blondies around the edge, then life the entire block out of the dish by grasping the parchment paper. Clean the knife between each cut.
2. For more "orange" look, add 1-2 drops of orange food coloring to the batter and/or glaze.