Blonde Brownies

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This will be the first recipe from our Antique Recipe Collection.  Blonde Brownies spelled “Blond” in the original hand written recipe.  This came out of a collection of recipes we purchased at an antiques mall in Searsport,ME the summer of 2014 for $10.  I do not know the author, some recipes in the collection have the name Mrs Cundy or maybe Mrs Cindy written on them but I am unable to tell if they are the authors or if they were written by the owner of the collection referring to the person they got the recipes from.  This particular recipe has no name on it.  Unlike a lot of the other baking recipes in the collection it has a specific oven setting oven 350 degrees leading me to believe it is newer then some of the other ones that say “bake in a medium hot oven.”

The dated material found in this collection ranges from the 1940s to the 1970s with lots of handwritten recipes I believe being older then that.  I chose to start my antique recipe blogging with this recipe for a few reasons…

  1.  Emily loves Blonde Brownies
  2.  The kids love any treats
  3.  The recipe is easy to understand and I can read it (remember cursive?  I can barely write normally so reading 60 year old cursive can be challenging)
  4.  I found it interesting there is no butter or white sugar in the recipe.  It calls for melted shortening and brown sugar instead.

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One thing about old recipes is they rarely seem to have directions for combining and mixing ingredients.  I believe they were written by people who understood how to cook so they just didn’t include steps they thought to be obvious at the time.  That certainly leaves something to be desired when trying to duplicate decades old recipes but this one was fairly easy to understand and follow.  I also got lucky that 8×8 was written on it so I knew what size pan to ready for the batter.

I wondered as I made this how it was originally mixed.  Was it by hand with a wooden spoon or was it new enough they had an electric mixer.  Maybe one of those crank turning mixers you see in antique shops?  However it was done, it wasn’t originally done in the kitchenaide stand mixer I have but you can’t fault a little progress!

The first thing I did was melt 1/3 cup vegetable shortening in a little sauce pan on the stove.  It said to cool it down after so I popped it into the fridge while I mixed the brown sugar and egg in the mixer.  Once they were mix I poured in the vanilla and the shortening.  At this point I was looking at a pretty sloppy brown wet mess and I started to get a little worried.

The recipe called for sifting flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder together but I just mixed it in a bowl.  I do have a sifter somewhere (couldn’t find it).

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Then turning the mixer down to med low I slowly put the flour mixture in.  It started to batter up pretty quick and really began to look good.  The worry dissipated and excitement was setting in.

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Now I imagine our grandmothers would have buttered the 8×8 pan before putting the batter in but having been a victim of brownies being stuck in pans I thought I would cut some parchment paper to go into pan and put batter down on that so I could just lift it out.  (pause to pat myself on back for this).

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With them batter in dish the next step was to “sprinkle top with 1/2 choc. baking bits.”  I used semi sweet mini chocolate chips and pressed them into batter slightly because I was a little afraid they would melt or burn just sitting on top.

Into the oven they went at 350 degrees stated on the recipe.  It said “8 mins, check 15 mins”  I did both times but they didn’t look done.  I ended up giving it 20 minutes and they turned out just right.  The sides had just started to brown up.

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I let it rest a half hour before lifting it out on the parchment and slicing into it.  They were amazing.  They were very chewy in the interior and they definitely had a different taste then other Blonde Brownies I have had that I attribute to not having butter in them.  I was very happy to have a “keeper” recipe from my first attempt at antique recipe making.  We are very lucky to have found this recipe and be able to pass it on!

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Blonde Brownies
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Blogging with Apples
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 16
Blonde Brownies from the past!
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup shortening melted and cooled
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda.
  3. In a mixer combine brown sugar and egg and mix on medium speed, Once combined add vanilla and shortening continue mixing until combined,
  4. Reduce mixer speed to med low and slowly add flour mixture in batches until all combined.
  5. Transfer dough to pan and spread into a even layer.
  6. Add chocolate chips on top and press into dough slightly.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes until sides start to brown and center is set.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan 30 minutes.
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Jeff McIntosh

About Jeff McIntosh

Jeff's family lives in his childhood home on a 1/4 acre in town lot. Despite the small space to work with, they have challenged ourselves to produce as much of our own food as possible — and cook it! They document their journey at Blogging with Apples.