Margaret’s Double Dessert Bars
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, August 3rd 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
A Special Recipe Dedicated to Margaret Fowler
I love developing recipes based around some of my favorite people and this is exactly what happened with this recipe and column. I have known Margaret Fowler for years! I first got acquainted with her when my Grandma Barbra was staying at Glen Oaks after some health problems, going on five years ago. I noticed a woman sitting in the dining area and she was always eating dessert. I knew immediately this was a woman after my own heart! Ha! After my first couple of encounters with her I knew that I wanted to start bringing her some of my homemade desserts. About five times a week I would bring fresh baked goods to the staff and residents at Glen Oaks and I made it a specific point to deliver things to Margaret first. We would talk and talk and overtime, talk some more. We really got to know each other, and it became the highlight of my day to go in and talk to Margaret. Skip ahead several years and we are still very good friends! After Grandma Barbra left the facility and my Grandma Deloris moved in, Margaret and I picked right back up from where we left each other.
Margaret is one of the sweetest, wisest and funniest people I have ever known. She loves visiting, talking, giving hugs and even playing with my little fur baby, Penny. My life has been enriched knowing not only Margaret, but her family as well. Her family is some of the sweetest and nicest people and it is my honor and privilege to be able to call them not just friends, but family as well. They give me advice; we talk and laugh, and they even help give me suggestions about Penny and what to do when it comes to some of her temper tantrums! Penny and her tantrums are a whole other column! Ha! My family and I love Margaret and her family and are so thankful to have them in our lives. We share so many memories and funny stories. Anyone reading may remember my earlier column dedicated to Margaret, where I shared my recipe for some of her favorite peanut butter cookies. Well, this recipe is for sure a sweet winner because it combines blondie brownies and chocolate brownies to make the perfect dessert! Shout out and special thanks to Margaret and her family for everything – I love you all!
Margaret’s Double Dessert Bars
These are best made ahead, left at room temperature to cool, then wrapped in aluminum foil and chilled over night in the refrigerator. Once ready to serve, let come to room temperature and cut. Serve leftovers at room temperature or chilled. For an even richer dessert, top each square with some vanilla bean ice cream.
For the blondies…
2 ¼ cups white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
For the brownies…
¾ cup white all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 large eggs
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on both sides. Spray the aluminum foil with non-stick baking spray.
Start by making the blondies. In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, beat together the softened unsalted butter with the firmly packed light brown sugar. Slowly beat in each large egg. Beat in the pure vanilla extract.
Gently fold in the whisked flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add in the semi-sweet chocolate chunks. Take the batter and spread evenly, smoothing out the top, into the prepared pan. You may want to use clean, wet fingers to accomplish this.
Next, make the brownies. In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, salt and baking soda. In another large bowl combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the pure vanilla extract. In a saucepan combine the unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar and water. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Once at a boil, remove and pour over the semi-sweet chocolate chips and pure vanilla extract. Stir until the mixture is glossy.
Beat in the 2 large eggs, one at a time, and then gently fold in the whisked flour mixture.
Pour the brownie batter over the blondie batter and smooth out the top, spreading evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 37 minutes, being careful not to overbake.
Once baked, remove and allow to cool at room temperature before wrapping and chilling. Serve these at room temperature.
Ask and Answer: I have been getting a few questions about if there is a difference between using large eggs, opposed to extra-large or even jumbo eggs. Yes! There is a huge difference! I always use large eggs in all my tested recipes. Different size eggs contain different amounts of liquid, therefore potentially throwing off the chemistry that is used behind a recipe. Always use whatever the recipe suggests. If the recipe doesn’t suggest a size, more than likely the recipe was written and developed using large size eggs.