April 19, 2011 § 1 Comment
When my parents visit, they never fail to bring Costco-sized bags of roasted and salted pistachios, rolled oats, dried mangoes, and Stacey’s pita chips. And while I love to eat all of these things, it’s now come to that point in the spring semester where I look around my kitchen and wonder how I’m ever going to empty the pantry before moving out.
Yesterday, I was craving something sweet and remembered Mark Bittman’s minimalist approach to blondies. I doubled the original recipe, managed to use a good portion of that 4 lb bag of pistachios (and yes, I had to shell 1 1/2 cups’ worth), and finally finished that bag of chocolate chips leftover from a batch of chocolate chip cookies I’d made last month.
For some reason, I imagined the mix to be similar to brownie batter and became worried when it turned out almost as thick as cookie dough. Don’t worry if you have to spread the dough when it’s in the pan. These turned out just right – chewy, nutty, and not too sweet – and I really do think that the almond extract imparted something special and subtle. And even though the blondies tasted great straight out of the oven, I think they taste even better the next day.
Pistachio and chocolate chip blondies (adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan. Mix melted butter with brown sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract, if using. Add flour and salt. Using a spatula, mix in pistachios and chocolate chips. Pour and spread mix into baking pan and bake for 40 minutes or until the center is set. Cool on rack before cutting.