RECIPE: Blondies are a must-bake dessert for fall

As I sit down to write this piece, I’ve got coffee in one hand and a warm triple chocolate chunk blondie in the other wondering why on earth I don’t make this recipe more often.

The blondie, with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate and warming vanilla, transports me back to a simpler time: fall Friday nights with my friends, eating pizza and watching movies, bowls of snacks and cookies, and then the quintessential delectable blondie brownie with all the add-ins — chocolate, nuts, crushed pretzels, even dried fruit. Blondies are warming, fun, satisfying — and simple to bake!

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Blondies are essentially the inverse stepsister to brownies. Since they don’t utilize the time-consuming melted chocolate method that brownies do, this recipe is far easier to pull together and bake in a moment’s notice. And it’s a good one for including kids in the baking process.

Although my recipe calls for three different kinds of chocolate, feel free to choose your own add-ins. Fold in some M&M’s, crush some pretzels, swirl in a little gooey caramel — blondies are a good canvas for getting creative.

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A couple of side notes on this recipe. First, check your baking powder. As we move into the fall and holiday season, ‘tis the time of year to get baking again, and there is nothing worse than a recipe coming out flat due to old leavening ingredients. Both baking powder and baking soda have a shelf life of about four to six months once opened so I highly recommend just getting a fresh container of each. Second, some of my favorite tools in the kitchen are my baking sheets and reusable silicone nonstick mats used as liners. I utilize a quarter sheet pan (9 1/2-inch-by-13-inch) and mat for this recipe, and I think it makes all the difference for ease of baking and cleanup.

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Sarah Dodge is an Atlanta-based bread baker, pastry chef and baking instructor. She is the owner of Bread is Good, which offers bread subscriptions to the general public and wholesale baked goods to local markets and restaurants.

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