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Why Your Blondies Are Raw In the Middle (+ The Stella Parks Cure)

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We’ve seen many, many blondies in our Baking Club, and while there have been a number of successful batches, we’ve also seen quite a few failures serious disappointments. Here is a small selection of our members’ gripes:

  • Mark Neufang: "You know, I shy away from making any blondie recipe, because no matter which recipe I used, they always seemed to come out under-baked, greasy, and gooey."

  • Kayla Mize: "Same issue here, too. After baking them for what seemed like a month, I finally pulled them, cut them, and baked them separately like cookies on a sheet."

  • Kristi Skjei Monson: "Shall we start BUA (Blondie Under-bakers Anonymous)? I have the same issue...which has led to a longstanding dislike of blondies."

If this hits home for you, too, don’t give up on blondies! Stella Parks has a surprisingly simple solution: Air.

You, too, can make picture perfect blondies.
You, too, can make picture perfect blondies. Photo by James Ransom

Yes, air. Or, lack thereof, rather. Parks swooped in to save the day (and future batches of blondies), acknowledging that while glass pans can make a big difference (requiring up to double the baking time), the biggest issue is usually under-aeration. In order words, we haven’t been whipping the blondie batter long enough.

She explains that under-aeration can lead to the seemingly undercooked results, because “if there’s not enough air incorporated into the unleavened batter, it won’t puff or rise, and the result will be a dense lump no matter how long it bakes.” And adds, “Under-aeration is especially common with hand mixers, but can happen due to using time over visual cues with any mixer due to wattage differences. The egg-sugar mixture MUST go from dense, runny, and dark to light, thick, and pale for it to work.” The mixture should end up “SUPER thick and fluffy, but not stiff,” as shown in her visual comparison, below.

Whip it, whip it good!
Whip it, whip it good! Photo by Stella Parks

If you need more guidance, check out her video on brownies on Serious Eats, so you know exactly what to look for when whipping the eggs and the sugar. And yes, that’s a brownie video, not a blondie video. Under-aeration can be the culprit for seemingly under-baked brownies, too, but it seems to be a more frequent issue with blondies—Parks explains that blondies “may take longer to whip due to the ratio of brown sugar.”

Ready to give 'em another go?

Cook's Illustrated's Blondies

Cook's Illustrated's Blondies by Genius Recipes

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Nordic Ware Covered Aluminum Cake Pan

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Cookie Butter Blondies by Posie (Harwood) Brien

Head here for more about what's ahead for our Baking Club!

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Tags: Community, Books, Cookbook Club, Baking Club