For Easter, my mother gave me a huge “party size” bag of mini Reese’s, which is wonderful because they’re my favorite candy. But rather than sit there and eat my body weight in candy, I decided to incorporate them into a dessert. Genius idea, because I ended up only using twenty and the majority of the bag still remains! Which of course means time for a candy/movie marathon :] haha. But anyway, onto the deliciousness.
I love making Blondies because they are simple and quick to make, and the recipe is easy to remember. Though part of that is because I take shortcuts. Shortcuts that work only because I have a KitchenAid Professional Stand Mixer. The best purchase any baker can ever make I might add. I suggest all households have one. Anyway, I had a fabulous idea to chop up the mini Reese’s and add those to my Blondies instead of chocolate chips, and let me tell you, it was the best dessert idea I’ve had in months. Sadly no photos because as we all know, desserts barely make it out of the oven in my house before they are consumed. But I do urge you to try this recipe as you will not be disappointed.
Recipe by me!
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar (light is fine if that’s all you have, but I’ve recently decided that the flavor is just so much better with dark brown sugar, for everything, from sweetening my oatmeal or chai, to cookies and other desserts. Dark Brown Sugar is the way to go; I no longer purchase light if I can avoid it)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (you can use salted or unsalted – I always buy salted butter just because, but that’s me)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (depends if you used salted butter or not – since I used salted butter, I used somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon – I’m not the best at being precise, but my desserts are darn good so don’t judge me)
20 – 25 Mini Reese’s Cups (the kind that are prewrapped, not the extra tiny ones)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish (I just take one of the sticks of butter I plan to use and rub it all around the dish, you can flour it if you like, but it’s not really all that necessary). Unwrap all the Reese’s and chop them into chunks. I simply unwrapped, put on the chopping board and went to chopping in multiple directions with a large knife. (Note: the amount of Reese’s you use is entirely up to you, but about 22 was how many I used and it seemed to be the perfect amount. I typically add about a cup to a cup and a half of chocolate chips, and this seemed to make the right proportion in lieu of chocolate chips. Keep in mind you’ll have slivers of chocolate throughout if you chop how I do…aka you just chop until it looks like there’s a bunch of chocolate and peanut butter bits all over the chopping board. I don’t worry about making them all the same size, I just chop.)
Cream the sugar and softened butter (i.e. mix until combined). Add in your vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Mix until combined. Here’s my shortcut: Since using a large mixer, I can add in the flour, baking soda, and salt all at once. If you do not have a stand mixer, sift the flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl and add to the wet mixture slowly. If using a mixer, just add the flour, salt, and baking soda all at once, and mix until completely incorporated, forming a dough.
Add in your chopped Reese’s and mix for a minute or two until combined. Scoop your dough into your prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. I like to use the flat beater that I used to mix it to spread it out evenly.
Pop in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. Baking time will depend on your oven. It will be golden brown on top, and a bit darker brown around the edges. I don’t recommend the “Toothpick Test” as a good measure of whether or not it is done. Because of the nature of the dough, when it starts to become about halfway done it will stop sticking to the toothpick. I would rather give it a bit of a jiggle and see if the middle moves quite a bit, if it does, then it needs a few more minutes. If it is primarily set, then pull it out. The nature of this recipe is that it is a bit soft, not firm like a cake, so it will move somewhat, even when completely cooked. Let cool 5 – 10 minutes before slicing into squares.
Alternatively, you can also use this recipe to make standard Blondies as well. Substituting chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, coconut, peanut butter, oats, broken bits of Heath bars, etc… The possibilities are endless. This is a wonderful base for a variety of bar desserts. You could also make this minus the Reese’s and top with a layer of chocolate ganache, or place a Symphony candy bar as a middle layer for a chocolatey surprise. Those would be delicious as well. Let me know your favorite combinations or if you have any novel suggestions for mix-ins!