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Full disclosure: I bake a lot. People are always asking what happens to all the desserts and cheesy biscuits and pull-apart breads that emerge from my kitchen. And here's what I do: I save enough for our little household, reserving some of every recipe for dinner that night or to enjoy the next day. I tuck away anything freezer-friendly, like brownies and cookies, into the freezer so we always have dessert on hand. Our kitchen is a sweet tooth's dream.
Despite that, I end up with a lot of extra baked goods on my hands at least once a week. I wrap them up carefully (usually in cheerful pink cardboard bakery boxes which I buy in bulk), and pack them in my large canvas tote bag. I write the recipe name for each in black Sharpie on the box. I take the subway downtown to my fiancé's office building, where he works with hundreds of hungry New Yorkers, toiling away at their desks and ravenous for a snack around mid-afternoon. I wave to the security guys, who know and love me by now, and do the afternoon baked good drop-off in the lobby.
Not only does this eliminate food waste, but it helps me immensely with recipe testing. I get a slew of comments from a wide audience of eaters: some picky, some adventurous. Most desserts of the brownie/cookie/blondie variety are received well no matter what, and it's unusual for something to really stand out.
That's why I can tell you confidently that today's recipe is killer. People swooned over it, gushing about how much they liked it. I did too, and there has been more than one night lately where you could find me nibbling at the edges of a frozen marzipan blondie over the sink before bed.
If you're worried that the flavors will only appeal to hardcore almond and marzipan fans, don't. All the elements blend together seamlessly, from the white and dark chocolate to the toasted nuts to the marzipan, to create a fantastically addictive blondie that's all at once chewy and crisp-edged. It's moist and dense in the center with chewy bits of marzipan and crunchy pockets of toasted nuts. It's buttery and sweet and so darn good.
You can easily use almond paste in place of marzipan, if that's easier for you to find. It'll be slightly less sweet, but I've tried both to great success. In terms of pan size, this is a very flexible recipe. Using a 9" square pan will yield standard brownie-sized bars. Using an 8" square pan makes very, very thick and chewy bars (you will need to bake it slightly longer). Using a 9" x 13" pan makes thinner bars that are still chewy but feature more crisp edges and shatteringly delicate top. Just watch the baking time depending on your pan size.
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup (4 1/2 ounces) white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) dark brown sugar, loosely packed
- 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces marzipan, chopped in small pieces (almond paste works too)
- 1 cup chopped toasted cashews
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) dark chocolate chips