Ina Garten’s Chocolate Chunk Blondies

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We love bar cookies and especially adore these Chocolate Chunk Blondies from Ina Garten. They are ideal for feeding a crowd: one pan means quick cooking, easy to carry and easy clean up. This recipe originally appeared in a story, “Bar Cookies are ideal dessert for July 4th gathering.

Blondies have a tendency to be dry, but there are two solutions: Under-bake them a little, and store them in the refrigerator wrapped tightly with plastic wrap. From “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust, ” by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, 2012).

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

1 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate chunks

HEAT oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 1/2-by-12-by-2-inch baking pan.

CREAM butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, and mix well, scraping down the bowl after each addition. In small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. With mixer still on low, slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chunks with a rubber spatula.

SPREAD batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t over bake. The toothpick may have melted chocolate on it but it shouldn’t have wet batter. Cool completely in the pan and cut into 12 bars.

Yield: 12 large bars

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