This has been quite a week and it's only Tuesday. Yesterday, I started the morning googling "Tim Duncan retirement hoax," thinking say it isn't so, Timmy. :( It's hard to believe that one of the greatest power forwards, heck greatest players, to play the game is really retiring. TD is one of my favorite players because he's quiet, humble, but man can he play basketball, and despite the fact that I'm crushed he's out, I'm in awe of the way he went out. He didn't make a big show out of his retirement and instead announced it once the season was over, to avoid any and all fanfare. Timmy, you'll be missed--the Spurs definitely won't be the same without you.
I thought I'd take a cue from Timmy and keep today's post short and sweet. I've been dreaming about these blondies for some time now and to say they're even better than I had imagined is an understatement. I'm into them. Very into them. And the best part is... they're even better the second day. If you're thinking hmmm, miso?? What's that all about? ...all I can say is please trust me. It adds so much umami goodness, a hint of almost-nutty flavor, and a healthy dose of salty savoriness to each and every bite. It really helps to balance out the sweetness of the butterscotch blondie. Paired up with toasted macadamia nuts, this bar is a dream for lovers of sweet and savory combos.
Regarding the base recipe... sometimes, when you find a good thing, it's best not to mess with it. I found Cooks Illustrated's blondie recipe almost two years ago now, and it's still the best one I've found. I did a few tweaks here and there and then at one point tried to create a recipe I loved more, but kept coming back to this one. So I'm keeping it, adding a bit of miso flair, but really staying pretty true to the original. TD, I know you didn't want the fanfare, but these blondies are for you. <3
Toasted Macadamia Nut Miso Butterscotch Blondies
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Makes 20 squares
- 1 c. macadamia nuts
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 c. white miso paste
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1 c. butterscotch chips
- 9 by 9-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Silicone spatula
- Wire cooling rack
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown, around 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
- Line a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on at least two sides. Grease with butter or oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour and baking powder together.
- In another medium bowl, whisk melted butter, brown sugar, and miso together until smooth and thoroughly combined. Whisk in eggs and vanillas and mix until incorporated.
- Fold the dry mixture into wet mixture until just combined (don't over mix!).
- Fold in butterscotch chips and chopped macadamia nuts then spread batter into the lined pan. Smooth top with spatula, pushing batter towards the edges.
- Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool then carefully remove from pan using the parchment overhang.
- Cut into 20 squares.
- Serve and enjoy!
Note: If you'd like to do a miso-butterscotch drizzle, simply melt 1/2 a cup of butterscotch chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals and mix in 1 tablespoon white miso paste and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste.