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Candy Cap Blondies

yield: 1 8 x 8-inch square pan, around 16 bars
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Special Equipment

  • a spice grinder
  • a fine-mesh strainer

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce candy cap mushrooms
  • 1 cup (10 ounces // 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups (12 ounces) dark brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 ounces dark (at least 70%-cacao) chocolate, roughly chopped into 1- and 2-inch chunks

Instructions

  • First, prepare your candy cap mushrooms. Separate out the larger mushrooms from the smaller mushrooms and tiny crumbs. Take the smaller mushrooms (don't use more than 0.25 ounces) and tiny crumbs and process into a small bowl using a spice grinder. Set aside.
  • Next, brown the butter. Place 1 cup unsalted butter into a lightly colored, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Melt the butter, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter starts to foam and splatter. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to scrape the sides and the bottom of the pan occasionally to prevent the butter from burning. After around 5 minutes, golden flecks should appear in the butter, and the butter should smell nutty and toasted. When scooped into a white plate, the butter should be a light to dark brown amberish color. Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle the larger candy cap mushrooms over the butter, using the rubber spatula to coat and submerge the candy caps into the butter. Allow to cool to room temperature completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour.
  • Once the butter has cooled, it's time to make the blondies! Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain out the butter into a liquid measuring cup, gently pressing the candy caps with a spatula to squeeze out as much butter as you can. Discard the candy cap mushrooms. The mushrooms will have absorbed some of the butter — my butter only measured around 6 fluid ounces. Use the remaining 1/4 cup of butter to top off the candy cap infused butter until you have 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) of melted butter.
  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F). Prepare an 8 by 8-inch square baking pan by spraying with a light coating of cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper (Food52 has a great guide on how to do this perfectly). Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar, 2 large eggs, and 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, before lowering the mixer speed to its lowest setting and streaming in the cooled brown butter (from the 1st step). Continue mixing until the ingredients are well combined and a pretty, amber color, before adding 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and ground candy cap mushrooms (from the 1st step) to the mixture all at once and beating until just combined. At this point, it's okay to have a couple flour streaks still visible in the batter.
  • Remove the bowl from the freestanding electric mixer and scatter 8 ounces chopped dark chocolate over the batter. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to hand mix the chocolate into the batter.
  • Once the chocolate is evenly distributed, transfer to the prepared baking pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges of the blondies are set but the center still looks a little gooey (the blondies will continue to cook in the pan). Allow to cool on a wire rack slightly before consuming in all their delicious, maple-scented glory.

Notes

Hella adapted from this Food52 recipe