07
Dec
08

Vox Pop

My church (Access) occasionally sponsors events where local artists and musicians can come and show off their wares.  Not only does this promote local talent growth, but part of the funds go to charity as well.  For this event (Vox Pop), we decided to complement the local artists with our very own bake sale, with all funds going to SEARCH, a homeless shelter that we volunteer at.

In preparation for this event, Yvonne and I decided to hold a cooking group meeting to make some bite size desserts.  Since these desserts had to be easily separated into serving-size portions while not being too messy, cakes and pies were out.  I settled on making cookies (see previous post), chipster brownies (this post) along with blondies.

What are blondies?  I think of them as cookies baked in brownie form, and they traditionally have many mixing additions as well (coconut and chocolate being the most prominent).  For this bake sale, I settled on two different recipes: Dorie Greenspan’s blondies (which I’ve made over 5 times this year… so easy and delicious!) and a different recipe from Cooks Illustrated.

Thanks Yvonne for letting us make a mess of your kitchen!

Of the two types of blondies, I still prefer Dorie’s recipe the most.  The CI blondies are good, but they don’t rise as much, are a bit too chewy, and just don’t pack the full flavor.

One thing to note when baking anything in 9×13 pyrex dishes: although Dorie recommends baking almost everything (except bundt cakes) on top of a baking sheet lined with a silpat, do NOT do this if you are using Pyrex.  The whole point of baking cakes or pies on top of a silpat-lined baking tray is to give a buffer on the bottom of the pans (so as to prevent browning or over baking of the bottom).  Pyrex is already dense enough, so the silpat is unnecessary.  Usually using a silpat with pyrex won’t cause too much problems, but it could cause the center of your bars to sink and be undercooked.

Recipes as follows:

Chewy, Chunky Blondies (Dorie Greenspan)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store-bought chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips or Heath Toffee Bits
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and put it on a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips, nuts and coconut. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even the top as best you can.
  4. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean. The blondies should pull away from the sides of the pan a little and the top should be a nice honey brown. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for about 15 minutes before turning the blondies out onto another rack. Invert onto a rack and cool the blondies to room temperature right side up.
  5. Cut into 32 bars, each roughly 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches.

Blondies (Cooks Illustrated)

Ingredients

  • 1 c pecans, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking pwd
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbs unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces white chocolate chopped

Directions:

  1. Set oven @ 325. Grease and pam spray 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
    Whisk flour, baking pwd, salt in bowl, set aside
    Whisk butter and sugars til combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Fold in dry ingredients w spatula til just combined. Fold in chocolate, coconut and nuts and pour into prepared pan , smoothing top w spatula.
    Bake 25-30 minutes. DO NOT overbake. Top will be shiney,cracked and gloden brown. Cool to room temp on wire rack before cutting.

The final product:

And now for some pics from Vox Pop itself!

Front desk

Local artists show their stuff

Bake Sale!

Dune!

Ira Perez working her magic

The artists get together for some live art

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2 Responses to “Vox Pop”


  1. February 3, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Nice post. I’m glad I found it. All the best, Hugo


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