My mom is coming to town at the end of this week and I am stoked! We don’t get to see each other as often as I like, so it’s always fun to have her in town. I’ve already planned stops at some of her favorite Portland restaurants and some newer ones that I’m nervous about taking her to (although my mom’s pretty game for anything, this article made me reconsider the places that I take my parents to during their visits). She also requested that I save some of my baked goodies around for her to try.
Truth be told, there aren’t ever a whole lot of my baked goodies around for very long—I always try and foist them off to Erlend’s coworkers, my gym trainers, and the local bike shop down the street as quickly as possible. Otherwise, Erlend and I would probably weigh a good 50lbs more than we currently do (since neither of us have the best self control). So I decided to bake something specifically for my mom—like these blackberry blondies!
These blackberry blondies were inspired by this white chocolate and rhubarb blondie recipe of mine from yesteryear. I always love pairing white chocolate with tart fruit to balance things out. And because my mom is coming from the Philippines, I decided to feature a fruit that she doesn’t get to have back home—marionberries and tayberries. Marionberries are a type of blackberry that is abundant to Oregon; they’re absolutely delicious, and one of my favorite types of berries. Tayberries, which I’ve written about before and baked into this pie, are a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. They’re the magenta colored berries you see in the bars.
As for the blondie base itself, I used this King Arthur Flour recipe for black and white brownies. The recipe uses white chocolate instead of regular chocolate in the bars. Truth be told, while the bars were delicious, they weren’t really blondie-textured? They were definitely more cakey than I like my brownies and blondies to be. I suspect it’s to do with the baking powder in the recipe—next time, I’m trying this bad boy without baking powder to see how it goes. Enjoy!
- Confession: I did not use regular white chocolate in this recipe. Instead, I used Valrhona’s dulcey white chocolate, which is really good white chocolate that’s been toasted to give it a caramelized, dulce de leche-like flavor. It’s absolutely delicious, but expensive and hard to find. And if I’m being honest, the dulce de leche flavors kinda got lost in the end anyway. I honestly recommend just sticking with regular white chocolate. If you do, don’t be surprised if your bars don’t come out as yellow as mine—the Valrhona dulcey chocolate kinda gave my bars a golden color.
- Bake Time will vary considerably depending on how ripe your fruit is; I would start checking for doneness at around 35 minutes. If you’ve used incredibly ripe and juicy fruit, don’t be surprised if your bars take as long as 45 to 50 minutes to bake! For this recipe, it’s more important to rely on visual cues than the recipe’s instructed bake time—use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to check for doneness by inserting it into the center of the bars, away from any fruit. If the bars come out with few crumbs attached, they’re ready! But if the skewer comes out wet with dough, don’t be afraid to keep them in the oven for longer.
- 6 ounces Valrhona dulcey (see baker's notes) or white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (5.35 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces fresh blackberries
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 (F). Lightly spray an 8 x 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposite sides of the pan. Spray the parchment paper too.
- Place the white chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan filled with a few inches of simmering water (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Cook over medium heat to melt the chocolate and butter, using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the butter and chocolate have melted and combined, about 10 minutes. Set the double boiler or bowl on a wire rack and cool slightly until warm but not hot.
- Whisk the sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, only adding the next egg when the previous one is fully incorporated. Sprinkle the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt over the mixture and use a rubber spatula to mix the dry ingredients until just combined. Add half (4 ounces) of the fresh blackberries and mix until incorporated throughout the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Sprinkle half (2 ounces) of the remaining blackberries over the batter. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the blondies comes out with a few crumbs attached. Transfer to a wire rack and immediately press the remaining blackberries on the surface of the blondies. Be careful not to press too hard—a gentle push will do! Cool completely on the wire rack before slicing.
- Run a butter knife or offset spatula along the edges of the pan and use the overhanging parchment as handles to lift the blondies out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Slice into 2-inch squares and serve. The blondies can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the fridge for up to 3 days.