White Chocolate Pecan Blondies
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
9 ounces real white chocolate, divided
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, divided
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.
2. Chop the white chocolate into small pieces (about the size of small raisins). Put 6 ounces of the white chocolate (about 1 scant cup, depending on how small the chocolate is chopped - there should be about 1/2 cup remaining to stir into the batter later) in a large bowl with the butter. (OR melt butter and white chocolate together on the stove over a double burner- my preferred method). Microwave for a minute or two (watching closely so it doesn't burn and stirring every 30 seconds or so) until the mixture is smooth and completely melted. Stir in the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing just briefly. Add 1 cup of the pecans and the remaining white chocolate pieces while there are still lots of flour streaks remaining. Stir until the batter is combined.
3. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining pecans over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the brownies are set on the sides and in the middle and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few sticky crumbs.
4. Let the bars cool completely in the pan. Slice and serve or store covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They will stay moist for several days.
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