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Desserts Family Favorites Vegetarian

Gooey Butter Blondies

A blondie base reminiscent of yellow cake and a creamy buttery top, these treats are lip smacking good. A blondie base reminiscent of yellow cake and a creamy buttery top, these treats are lip smacking good.

There truly is nothing like this recipe. You’d have to combine a thick slab of blondies with a chess pie/gooey butter cake/cheesecake to full understand the flavor profile of this dessert. To be honest I’m still not even sure that the name suits it. Regardless, warm or cold…this dessert is rockin’ and should be on your must-try list – immediately.

At our New Years Eve party, my aunt had made what she was calling Neiman Marcus Brownies for our shindig. She is awesome at taking cake mixes and turning them into something super delicious, so it was no surprise she did it yet again. Yet ever since that party, I couldn’t get the tastes of it removed from my memory. It was so good, and I’m sad I didn’t enjoy more of it at the time. Upon googling and looking on Pinterest, this recipe has been reenacted many a times. I decided that I needed my own version, preferably one made from scratch where I could let my ingredients do the recipe complete and utter justice.

Still warm, these cracked blondies impart a creamy goodness that is absolutely delectable. Still warm, these cracked blondies impart a creamy goodness that is absolutely intoxicating.

It’s a two layer dessert. The bottom takes like a yellow cake, but is more dense like a blondie would be. The topping starts off looking like a cheesecake batter, but morphs into a thick layer that resembles the uppermost layer of gooey butter cake, yet with a taste similar to chess pie and a thin crackled top. Once you make it, you’ll understand. 

A golden bubbling topping that mimics cheesecake and chess pie. A golden bubbling topping that mimics cheesecake and chess pie.

After countless times now to perfect it for you, I have a few pieces of wisdom to impart. The pan makes a huge difference. You have to use something that is not only deep, but retains even heat. You’re cooking it low and slow to create the definitive layers. If possible, using a glass 9 x 13″ baking dish works best. The batter will barely go up the pan halfway, but will absolutely double in size as it bakes. 

The next piece of wisdom is to not halve anything, topping or base. When I made a double batch I didn’t want it to overflow, so I halved the topping. It did not taste even remotely the same as the original. The cake part was super thick and the topping was chewy. I then tried just the opposite, to halve the base. Not only did the lack of base not support the topping, but it was just too gooey. Just stick with the ratios below, and if you have to, halve the whole thing.

Lastly, you can and should experiment with flavors. Try swapping out some of the flour for cocoa. Add in pecans, and even consider adding in butter rum extract for some of the vanilla. Make it your own, it’ll be good.

I do hope you enjoy this new riff on a favorite box cake dessert.

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

A plate full of Gooey Butter Blondies ripe for the picking. A plate full of Gooey Butter Blondies ripe for the picking.
Gooey Butter Blondies
A dessert with a blondie-like base layer, and a thick gooey topping with a slight crunch. This recipe reenacts flavors of yellow cake, blondies, chess pie and cheesecake. A new favorite from my home to yours.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 sticks of butter, room temperature and divided
  2. 1 cup of sugar
  3. 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  4. 5 eggs, divided
  5. 2 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  6. 2 1/2 cups of flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  9. 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  10. 3 cups of confectioners sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a glass 9 x 13" baking dish and set aside.
  2. Combine together 1 1/2 sticks of butter with the sugar and brown sugar. Cream for 3-5 minutes. Add in three eggs and mix till thoroughly combined. Add in flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, baking powder and salt. Stir till just combined. Press into an even layer in your baking dish.
  3. In another bowl, beat together remaining 1 stick of butter and cream cheese till no lumps are present. Add in the eggs one at a time until mixed in completely. Add in your remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla. and mix again. Finally, add in your confectioners sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Pour batter over the base layer.
  4. Bake for one hour, or until cake is puffed up and lightly golden on top. Remove and allow to cool for 45 minutes before serving. Can be served slightly warm or completely chilled. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Notes
  1. It is important to use a deep baking dish as the batter will double on you in size.
  2. Feel free to experiment a bit with flavors, adding scraped vanilla beans instead of vanilla, swapping out some of the flour for cocoa, adding in pecans to the base, or even consider adding in butter rum extract for some of the vanilla.
Adapted from Neiman Marcus Brownies
Adapted from Neiman Marcus Brownies
Eat Your Tarte Out | Life, Love and Full Plates https://eatyourtartout.com/
Categories
Desserts Gluten Free Grain Free Vegetarian

Chocolate Cinn-Almonds

cocoaalmond

A combination of roasted almonds, coated in chocolate, and then dusted in cinnamon, cocoa and salt. It’s a snackers dream as it’s not overly sweet and addicting as heck. And the sheer beauty is that it’s one of the easiest recipes ever to make!

I’ll admit that have a weakness for chocolate covered almonds. And, for whatever reason I enjoy them immensely as singly covered entities, not in bars. It’s a weird little fixation of mine, but it’s also a surefire way to make me smile. I can always go for some, even now. However, not all chocolate covered almonds are created equal. The chocolate to almond ratio can be off, and then there’s usually a shiny waxy coating many of them have to ensure they don’t stick together which detracts from the simple but delicious flavors.

I decided I was going to make them at home figuring I could control what chocolate balanced the almonds I had, and rid myself of the wax. Dipping individual chocolates can be time consuming and tedious, and I quickly lost interest. I made large ugly lumps and devoured them once they set up, never to talk about them again. I’m not sure what reinvigorated my interest, but the reasoning went out the window and a recipe/method was born.

A bowl of these almonds will disappear quickly, so be sure to make a few batches.
A bowl of these almonds will disappear quickly, so be sure to make a few batches.

Taking a note from shake and bake chicken, unceremoniously plopping chocolate dipped almonds into a dry rub of sorts and shaking all your frustrations out works SO well in this case! I’m serious, anyone can do it and it makes you feel better physically and taste sensationally afterwards.

Simple ingredients and complex taste with incredibly easy directions to follow.
Simple ingredients and complex taste with incredibly easy directions to follow. Chocolate chips, cinnamon and almonds, how easy is that?

I figured out that the dry rub should contain some cocoa powder, as the shaking technique only coats the almonds with a thin layer and we all know how I like my chocolate. From there, I added some organic Korintje cinnamon which I picked up at Whole Foods. I liked the spicy notes in it which seemed to wake up my concoction. From there I added a little salt to enhance the flavors and I was done. It balanced really well, and even the men in my life were quickly devouring them.

As if the ease and deliciousness of this recipe weren’t awesome enough, you then can save the leftover bits of chocolate and cinnamon powder for a delicious base for hot chocolate. Waste not, want not! Sounds like a great way to cuddle up a loved one, dog or kitty cat, or to simply enjoy on a night when you need a pick me up

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

A pretty bowl of cinnamon chocolate almonds and a love letter to accompany a mid morning snack.
A pretty bowl of cinnamon chocolate almonds and a love letter to accompany a mid morning snack.
Chocolate Cinn-Almonds
Roasted almonds, coated in chocolate and dusted in cocoa, cinnamon and salt make for a delightful snack that you'll keep coming back to.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of almonds
  2. 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
  3. 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  4. 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  5. 1 teaspoon of salt
Instructions
  1. In a dry saucepan, heat the almonds on medium heat until they give off a nutty aroma, 4-5 minutes turning periodically. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.
  2. In a double boiler, heat chocolate until melted. Add the almonds and coat completely.
  3. In a large tupperware container, container with a lid, or ziplock bag, add the remaining ingredients. Add in the almonds and all of their chocolate shaking vigorously until coated completely with the cinnamon mixture.
  4. Lay individual almonds onto plate or cookie sheet and allow to set. Anything remaining from the chocolate/cinnamon mixture, set aside and use as a base for hot chocolate.
Notes
  1. Use the best quality ingredients you can find, it will make a world of difference. Definitely experiment with different types of milk chocolate and use various kinds of cinnamon for slight, but delicious nuances.
Eat Your Tarte Out | Life, Love and Full Plates https://eatyourtartout.com/