After being unsuccessful in locating cinnamon chips for the iced cinnamon chip cookies I usually make over the holidays, I wound up ordering a bunch of them online. Needless to say it is late March and because I ordered way too many of them I still have a couple of packages left. So my conundrum was what to do with the remaining cinnamon chips. And then I thought about this recipe.
I haven’t made blondies in a long time. As a matter of fact, I never really thought about what blondies actually are until just recently. In my mind, they are the equivalent to a lighter color of brownies. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but I like to think of them that way.
So why make blondies now? Well, March weather here in Colorado can be turbulent – not with rain but with snow. March and April are the snowiest months of the year here, so you can go from a feeling of Spring to a feeling of dead Winter in a heartbeat. And winter time is baking time in my mind. There’s nothing like the smell of something baking in the oven on a cold Winter’s day. It warms the heart. And the smell of apples and cinnamon baking, well that’s heaven! So the decision to make these on a snowy day was a no brainer.
So let’s talk apple cinnamon chip blondies…
Lesson Learned 1 – Make sure you use parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray before you put the batter into the pan: This batter is very dense and sticky. If you don’t line your baking pan with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray you will never be able to remove the blondies from the pan in one piece. You only need to spray the paper LIGHTLY as there is a lot of butter in the recipe and you don’t want the blondies to turn out too greasy.
BAKING TIP: Line the pan with the parchment paper at the very beginning before doing anything else. Once you tear off a large enough piece press the paper down in the pan and place some cans of anything on top of it to hold it down (as shown in the picture above). When it comes time to put the batter in the pan simply remove the cans and then spray the paper lightly with cooking spray. At that point, as you can see in the picture, the parchment paper will be much more cooperative when you’re putting the batter in the pan.
Lesson Learned 2 – The blondies are much easier to cut when they’re cool: Using the parchment paper as handles I lifted the blondies out of the pan after they had been on the cooling rack for 15 minutes. I left them to cool for a couple of hours and refrigerated them overnight. The next day they were much easier to cut. They smell so good you may be tempted to try to cut them sooner but it definitely is much easier once they have sufficiently cooled.
Lesson Learned 3 – You could also add some nuts to this recipe: If I were to add nuts, I would add chopped pecans, about 1/4 cup should do the trick. The next time I make these I’m going to try adding nuts.
What can I say other than these are very easy to make and super delicious (like eating an apple pie brownie). Try this and I know it will become one of your favorites!
APPLE CINNAMON CHIP BLONDIES…
1 cup light brown sugar + 2 Tbs.
1 large egg, room temperature and lightly beaten
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 medium apple peeled and cubed into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper (see baking tip above) and set aside.
In a small skillet melt 2 Tbs. of butter and 2 Tbs. of brown sugar together. Add the apple pieces and cook until the pieces start to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Melt the stick of butter in the microwave (approximately 30 seconds). In a large bowl whisk together the butter and remaining brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl sift together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Do not over mix. Fold in the cinnamon chips and apples (and nuts if desired) until just combined.
Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the batter making sure it is evenly distributed throughout the pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes (mine took 40 minutes). The blondies are done when the edges start to pull away from the side of the pan. Let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing (preferably after cooling for 2 hours cool in the refrigerator overnight before slicing). Slice and enjoy!