When I asked Dad what he wanted to eat for his birthday, he said he wanted seafood casserole and blondies.  :-)  (And we were able to make the casserole with seashell pasta, too, like it’s supposed to be — but updating you on my pasta adventures would be a whole new post to itself!)

It’s always a challenge to try to make a gluten-free version of something when you’ve never had it before, and don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like.  I’ve known as long as I can remember that Daddy loves blondies; but the knowledge was usually reinforced by Mom grumbling about how she still hadn’t found a blondie mix he liked, so he was just out of luck.  I’d never eaten or even seen or smelled a blondie myself.

Thank God for the Internet, am I right?  That at least got me started on the general principles of blondie-making.  But thank God even more for my taste-testers (and thank you, taste-testers!), who put up with day after day of me nit-picking their sweetest compliments.  “I know you like it, you’ve said that — but does it taste like a blondie?”

And the verdict is, at last, yes.  Blondies.  Happy birthday, Daddy.

Blondies

Yield:  9 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp molasses
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup dough mix
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Lightly grease and set aside either an 8×8 pan (for taller, “fudgier” blondies) or a 9×9 pan (for wider, crispier blondies).

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, (or in a medium-large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer or — my favorite — an immersion blender with a whisk attachment), briefly cream the softened butter.

3.  Creaming the mixture again after each ingredient, add the egg, vanilla, molasses, and packed brown sugar.

4.  In a small bowl, whisk together the dough mix, xanthan gum, and salt; then mix the resulting dry mixture into the butter mixture.

5.  Finally, fold in the butterscotch chips, and turn the batter out into the greased pan.  The batter will be very thick and stiff, so you’ll need to spread it out to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.  (I sometimes grease a soft spatula to make this stage a little easier.)

6.  Pop the pan into the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes (less for a 9×9 pan, more for an 8×8 pan, generally speaking).  The toothpick test won’t help you here; the blondies should look a nice golden brown, but be careful not to let them burn.

7.  Cut into bars while warm, but let cool completely before serving.  Then make sure you get one for yourself — they may be rich, but they’ll vanish in a heartbeat if there’s people around to nab them!