Thursday, May 1, 2008


As I mentioned previously, I hosted a brownie swap this past weekend. It was a blast and so much fun to see all of the different brownies there can be! Blondies were accepted too of course. Half of the fun of hosting something like this is trying to figure out what you will make yourself!

Since I figured there would be a lot of chocolate confections, I stuck with 2 blondie options as my contributions. The first is for Cinnamon Toast Blondies, from The Girl Tastes. This recipe won the first ever Master Baker challenge with the secret ingredient of cinnamon so I knew it had to be good, and boy, was it! I skipped the sugared pecan step since I was running a little short on time but honestly these were fabulous and I'll definitely be making them again. My husband is a cinnamon fanatic so he was probably even more pleased with the results than I was! I baked these in a 9x9 pan since I doubled the batch and only have one 8x8 pan. I cut the baking time down and they still turned out fine!

My second contribution was a Paula Deen recipe for Orange Brownies. I'm not sure why they are called brownies since they truly are a blondie, there is nothing chocolate related in them, but either way I thought it was a pretty unique recipe that I thought was perfect for this event. I'm not the biggest orange fan around, I can take it or leave it, but I have to say they came out pretty tasty. Again this is another one that received 2 thumbs up from the hubby, he loves orange too, which is another reason I made them. Isn't he a lucky guy????

All in all, I would definitely do this again some time. I think it was a fun variation on the typical cookie swap. And plus, who doesn't like brownies????

Orange Brownies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 recipe Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat until well blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven, allow to cool and pierce entire cake with a fork. Spread the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting over completely cooled brownies. Cut into squares.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons softened butter
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice

In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese together with a hand-held electric mixer. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until it is all combined and smooth. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Spread over brownies.

Cinnamon Toast Blondies
(from The Girl Bakes)

Oven Temp.: 350°
Approx. Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Yields: 8×8 inch dish

1 c. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
7 tbsp. butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. pecans, toasted and chopped

2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Whisk the flour, salt, and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar with the melted butter. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. Stir in the pecans. Spread batter into an 8×8 baking dish.

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the topping. Sprinkle this mixture over the batter. (You will likely have more than enough.)

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Don’t over-bake. The blondies may seem underdone, but will set as they cool. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.


Cara said...

awesome! they both sound delicious!

Miss T said...

Ooo, the Cinnamon Toast Blondies sound delicious! My fiance is a cinnamon-aholic! these will be on the "to bake" list for the weekend! Looks like you made a great choice, Robin!

Jerri said...

I've never had orange brownies. They look and sound delicious! I'll have to try them out some time.

Cooking and the City said...

Robin they both look fabulous :-) said...

oh i love those cinnamon toast blondies!! i'm gonna make those!! i have also made the orange brownies by paula deen, they are sooo good. i didn't put any frosting on them though, great idea!!

Joelen said...

Yay for the brownie swap! So glad it was a fun event for you :) I will be saving that cinnamon toast blondie recipe to try out soon....

Joelen said...

Yay for the brownie swap! So glad it was a fun event for you :) I will be saving that cinnamon toast blondie recipe to try out soon....

Miss T said...

Robin... quick question about the cinnamon toast blondies... Did you use a light brown sugar or dark? I just finished this recipe and used a dark brown sugar and, obviously, they are more brunette than blonde! But still taste fabulous! :)