Blondies are much less commercially successful, popular or attractive than those famewhore attention-seeking brownies that everyone always talks about. And although you’re instantly attracted to the glamorously rich glossiness of brownies, sometimes they’re just a little too much, too high-maintenance, too over-the-top. Blondies seem more relaxed, fun and down-to-earth, and are much less likely to make you feel like vomiting after an extended encounter.*
*This paragraph also works if you substitute Khloe Kardashian for blondies and Kim Kardashian for brownies.
I must admit I had my initial doubts about blondies. They looked so dry and boring and beige. But then I watched Gordon Ramsay making blondies and he kept making squinty faces and universally recognised rich and fudgy hand gestures (“the slowly closed fist”) and so I was won over. But not all blondies are created equal, and if I was going to attempt them, I had to find or craft a recipe that would be absolutely incredible and full of everything that is good in this world. Or so bad that it’s good. I’ve corrupted this recipe to suit my rather debauched tastes, as I prefer these things as decadent as possible until they reach a level of such impurity that they have to be made illegal.
I challenge anyone who doesn’t agree that something made with loads of butter, brown sugar, Maltesers, white chocolate and malted milk powder isn’t going to taste heavenly. I’m not a huge fan of nuts because they take up valuable space that should be filled with chocolate so I didn’t include them, but you could add some macadamias or cashews if you prefer a slight reprieve from all the good stuff.
These are incredibly buttery, malty and fudgy with a crisp top and full of toffee and milky flavours with all of that malted powder and white chocolate. I happened to have a jar of Horlicks in my pantry which was perfect for this project. In case you’re not familiar, Horlicks is a sweet malted powder to make a warm soothing drink for children and old people when they can’t sleep. I have neither children nor old people in my house so it’s slightly perplexing that I have this. I find things like this in my house all the time that I can never remember buying. I’ve decided that I’m either sleep-shopping or the victim of some kind of reverse robbery where someone keeps breaking in and leaving things. I have definitely not bought stuff and just forgotten to eat/use/wear them.
If I were an American I’d probably tell you that these are best eaten with a cold glass of milk, although I’ve never really understood why an adult would do that. Seeing as I’m not (an American, I mean – I’m fairly sure I qualify as an adult), I suggest serving a warm chunk of blondie with some vanilla ice cream and a shot of whisky instead to maximise all that malty goodness.
Adapted From Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
1½ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup malted milk powder like Horlicks
200g unsalted butter, softened and cut into small cubes
1¾ cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups Maltesers
200g white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celsius. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8×8-inch baking pan, or line it with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and malted milk powder.
Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, then mix in the vanilla extract.
Add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined and moistened. Fold in by hand the Maltesers, white chocolate chips by hand. The mixture will be thick, so I recommend pressing the dough into the pan with your hands rather than the spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, keep an eye on it to avoid overbaking. It is better to be a little under than over. Place the pan on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing. If they look to fragile to slice, place them in the fridge to firm up first. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can refrigerate to keep them for longer in an airtight container. At room temperature they are soft and melting, and straight out of the fridge they are dense and fudgy.