Peanut Butter Blueberry (PBB) Blondies
Moving is a bittersweet event. It's one of those moments that you approach both with a bit of a heavy heart as well as with a stomach full of butterflies. I've only been out in the Bay Area for about two years and some change, but this city has definitely become home to me (and Moses and #asausagenamedvienna). And now we're trading in our San Francisco city apartment for a spot in Los Angeles with a tiny yard and a lone fruit bearing apple tree (woot!!). I'm anxious, thrilled and ready to get down there and settle in at our new space in a new city but I'm going to miss this familiar and beautiful city by the Bay (and I am also dreading packing--I was supposed to start on Monday and didn't).
This may be a little cheesy, but I've decided that I need a moving theme song. And Steve Perry's song "Lights" will be said theme song. Why? Because who doesn't love Journey (everyone better love Journey) but also because I heard Perry wrote most of it in LA but finished it off in SF. Except I'll be singing Perry's original version, "When the lights go down in the city and the sun shines on LA." Seems like the perfect anthem to me. May it power me through the packing (and unpacking) stage of moving.
Please allow me to delay for another moment or two and share that I've been conjuring up blueberry recipes in my head instead of putting things in the boxes that haven't found their way into our apartment yet. I was set on doing a version of a blueberry flaugnarde (a claufoutis with a different type of fruit than cherries) but then I thought better of it and realized that I want to share what I bake with friends versus eat it all solo, because I'm also avoiding packing on lbs too.
Remember when I mentioned that my mother and father are both fabulous in the kitchen? Well they are, and while I was on the phone with my mom the other day, she mentioned she made Cook's Illustrated's Blondies and that my dad LOVED them, which was shocking because my dad loves brownies but isn't big on their lighter counterpart. After hearing that, I was sold and said, "Done, I'm making peanut butter and blueberry blondies." To which my mom responded, "Hmmm." But why wouldn't I put fresh blueberries together with peanut butter?! Who wouldn't love PB&J Blondies? Think of these as the better version of that. And be warned, these PBBs are like crack. So much for avoiding the lbs...I just ate three!
P.S. Let the countdown begin: two weeks!!
Peanut Butter Blueberry (PBB) Blondies
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Makes 16 squares
- 1 1/2 c. + 1 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour (7.5 oz. + 0.28 oz.)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter ( 1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar (10.5 oz.)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1 c. peanut butter chips (6 oz.)
- 1 c. + 1/2 c. fresh blueberries, washed and dried
- Cooking spray or butter (to grease parchment)
- 9 by 9-inch baking pan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls bowls
- Silicone spatula
- Fine mesh sieve
- Wire cooling rack
- Parchment paper
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Line a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang to help you lift the blondies from the pan when they're done. Grease parchment-lined pan with butter or oil.
- Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in medium bowl and set aside.
- Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in medium bowl until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; whatever you do, do not over mix!!
- Toss 1 cup blueberries in the reserved tablespoon of flour and discard excess flour that falls off blueberries. Reserve the 1/2 cup blueberries for later.
- Fold in peanut butter chips and blueberries and spread batter into prepped pan. Smooth top with spatula.
- Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes; be careful not to over bake!
- Press reserved blueberries into the top of blondies
- Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove blondies from pan by lifting parchment overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.
- Serve and enjoy!