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|June 11- June 17, 2009
• Allergy alternatives
A list of alternative, healthful foods for allergy sufferers
by Julie Deardorff
• Bite by bite on a budget
Bacaro small plates offer big taste at a small price
by Clay Fong
The Dessert Diva
A local chef shares her sweet secrets
by Danette Randall
Well, I have decided to stop telling people what my recipe is each week for TV and the column until the last possible moment. It’s like when you tell people what you are naming your baby, and they give you that look like, “Oh really? What an unusual name… how about Jane instead.” You see, the mention of blondies evokes one reaction: “You mean there isn’t any chocolate in them? How about brownies instead?”
Raspberry Hazlenut Blondies is the sweet treat this week. I love the concept of blondies — and not just because I’m blonde...ish. We have the singer Blondie, the comic strip Blondie, and don’t they always say that blondes have more fun? They never named a dessert Brunettey as far as I know.
I don’t think you will miss the chocolate one little bit. These little guys are a buttery, honey-hued confection chock full of hazelnuts.
For me, hazelnuts bring back memories of my grandparents’ house. They always had a big bowl full of nuts in the shell with nutcrackers at the ready. I loved cracking the nuts and always saved the hazelnuts for last. In fact, from now on a big bowl of nuts will grace my kitchen table — delicious and nostalgic. I don’t remember if they called them filberts or hazelnuts, which seems to be a big debate these days. I bet you didn’t even realize people actually debated that topic, but trust me, they do.
I grew up in Washington State, so hazelnuts were always available as Oregon is one of the top-producing growers of hazelnuts, with Turkey being right there with them. It seems we tend to use almonds, pecans and walnuts much more than hazelnuts, but actually these nuts are very good for you — rich in protein and unsaturated fat and full of thiamin and vitamin B6. They are for certain crunchy and, to me, a tad bitter, which pairs perfect with the rest of the ingredients. Add them to the blondies and mix in a little raspberry jam, and you have a super simple recipe that yields super tasty treats. So, don’t I have you dying to make this dessert by this point?
People always say blondies are the opposite of brownies, so I leave you with this question: Wouldn’t the opposite of brownies be Brussels sprouts? I’m just saying. OK, follow the directions, put some love into it, and invite me over when it’s done.
Before you start: I made it easy and just purchased packaged chopped hazelnuts. Make sure your butter is very soft before starting. Wait at least five to six hours or overnight before serving. It is better after setting up and sitting for awhile.
Raspberry Hazlenut Blondies
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1 /2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
In small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add in eggs, and mix well. Stir in vanilla.
Stir in flour mixture, and beat well. Fold in raspberry jam. Fold in hazelnuts reserving a tablespoon for later. Spread evenly into greased baking dish. Sprinkle reserved hazelnuts on top of batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes until edges are golden. Do not overbake — blondies will firm up as they cool.
Cut into slices, dust with powdered sugar and serve. Enjoy!
You can watch the Dessert Diva every Monday at 8:35 a.m. on Channel 2. To contact Danette at the station, visit 2theduece.com and click on Daybreak on the Deuce. To chat with and/or send comments and suggestions, write to email@example.com.
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