These Snickerdoodle Blondies are basically like crack. Not that I’ve ever tried crack. Hmm, perhaps I’d better find a better analogy. The White Witch’s enchanted Turkish delight? (which, by the way, I will never make for Reader’s Digest(ibles) because I don’t like it) The lotus from the Land of the Lotus-Eaters? Anyone? Or perhaps I should just say that they’re like the butteriest, chewiest, most delicious sugar cookie in the world, kissed with cinnamon, redolent with vanilla, and utterly irresistible. Because they are.
Suffice it to say that these are good. Incredibly good. Addictively good. And they’re made from the most basic of pantry ingredients. Honestly, if I could figure out a way to make these without softening and creaming butter (which requires a mixer) I’d probably make them on a weekly basis and clog up my arteries with buttery goodness. Perhaps luckily for me, I do need a mixer (though don’t think I haven’t considered trying a different technique), so I only make these when I feel that there are deserving people around to eat them. Or when I need a last-minute treat to bring somewhere and haven’t shopped for specialty ingredients.
Really, though, it’s amazing to me how so few ingredients can come together to produce so much flavor. Sure, I could complicate things a little by browning and then chilling the butter (and I may try it later), or adding nutmeg or cayenne or flaky salt… but there’s just something about the sheer simplicity of these bars that makes them incredible. They’re such stand-outs that I actually spent several weeks trying to figure out a way to adapt them to the Pillsbury Bake-Off’s stringent guidelines (seriously, only seven ingredients allowed and two of them need to be sponsored? 30 minutes prep time?) so I could enter, but eventually I gave up, concluding that you just can’t mess with a good thing.
Anyway, after all that buildup, here’s the recipe. Go ahead and make these, then come back and admit I was right. 😉
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tbs. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Topping: 2 tbs. sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a 9×13″ pan with foil (sprayed with cooking spray) or parchment.
2. Cream butter and sugar together until well-combined but not fluffy.
3. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder, then stir into butter mixture to make a soft, sticky dough.
5. Using wet hands, spread dough into the prepared pan, then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar topping generously over the top. Make sure to use all of it!
6. Bake for 30 minutes. The blondies may look a bit underdone, but it’s better to slightly underbake than overbake.
7. Let the bars cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. They’ll slice more neatly if they cool completely, but I wouldn’t want to deprive you of the chance to eat them warm!
- You can omit the baking powder for a flatter, gooier bar– also amazingly good. It’s just dependent on your tastes.
- Don’t worry about smoothing the dough down completely in the pan– it’ll even out as it bakes for the most part, and a little crinkling on the top won’t hurt anyone. I’ll admit that these aren’t the prettiest things I’ve ever made, but the taste makes up for it.
- You can easily halve this recipe if you don’t want a great big pan of temptation sitting on your kitchen countertop. Just start checking the pan at around 20 minutes to be sure you don’t overbake.