When it comes to cookbooks, I read a lot of them and own even more of them. It’s not often that I get a cookbook that I’m excited for nearly every recipe. The one that’s dog earred in my kitchen right now (along with a few more that I will be sharing in the coming weeks) is Sara Kieffer debut book The Vanilla Bean Baking Book.
I came across her work years ago and emailed her to let her know how much I enjoyed her blog, The Vanilla Bean Blog. She graciously replied and I’ve been following her adventures every since (although, I would have even if she didn’t reply). Her blog, like her baking book is filled with accessible recipes that simplify the process for beginning to advance bakers. I like that there is a mix of cozy classics like: chocolate bread, blueberry muffins, straight up Apple Pie to reinvented classics like: Lime Mint Bars, Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Pistachio and Lemon Glaze, Pear-Apple Hard Cider Pie.
The recipe I’m sharing from her book is one for Coffee Blondies. I’ve been nibbling on these over the weekend with my morning and evening coffee. I’ve been displaying an amazing amount of self restraint. Nibbling is really not my style, but my boys love these bars as much as I do, so I’ve been instructed with, “Leave some for us!”
I wish I could leave some for you guys, but since I physically can’t, I’m going to point you to Sarah’s book on Amazon. Buy it. You won’t regret it. Its got that classic feel that will have you reaching for it again and again.
- 1 1/2 ups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon strong coffee, room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped
- 3/4 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
Preparation: Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Grease 9x13 inch pan and line with a parchment sling.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar and salt. Remove from the heat and sir in the coffee until well combined. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Add t he egg and vanilla and whisk until combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add the pecans and chocolate chips and sir gently.
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake 18 to 24 minutes, until the blondies are set on the edge and top is golden and brown and just beginning to form cracks. A wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the blondies should come out with a just a couple crumbs.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Use the parchment sling to gently lift the blondies from the pan. Cut the into squares.