The Shape of Deliciousness: Chewy Chunky Broundies

There's a lot of truth to the adage that we eat with our eyes first. I'll admit that I am heavily influenced by the way food looks when I decide whether or not I want to taste it -- or bake it!

As a case in point, I have flipped through Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, Baking From My Home to Yours, countless times. Thus, I have seen the full-page photo of her "Chewy, Chunky Blondies" on numerous occasions -- but I was never tempted in the slightest to try the recipe, because the blondies just did not look very interesting. But then the Bon Appétit website featured a photo with a round version of the blondies (Dorie calls them "Broundies"!), as well as directions for baking the blondies in round rings. The photo instantly changed my mind about wanting to make the recipe.

To make the blondie batter, you beat room temperature butter until smooth, add sugar and brown sugar, mix in eggs and vanilla, incorporate flour and salt, and then stir in chocolate (I used semisweet chips), toasted pecans, and sweetened coconut. If you are baking these in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan, the recipe calls for baking soda and baking powder as well, but you omit the leavening if you are baking the blondies in rings. I used a #16 scoop to portion out the dough and used 3-inch rings; I got 18 broundies from each batch of dough. My broundies finished baking in 23 minutes at 350 degrees; if you are baking the recipe in a rectangular pan, the baking time is longer, but at a lower temperature.

I tried to save time by fitting as many rings as possible on a baking sheet, so in some cases, the rings were actually touching. I think this is what caused my broundies to brown very unevenly during baking. On the same baking sheet, some broundies browned much more (both around the edges and on the bottom) than others, and sometimes even a single broundie would have dark golden edges on one side and pale edges on the opposite side. At least all of the broundies popped out of the buttered rings with no problem after baking.

Whether they were pale or golden brown, all of the broundies were delicious! They had a wonderful sweet and deeply caramel-y flavor, a very chewy interior, and a firm and crisp exterior (especially the more browned portions). I thought that they probably could have used some more chocolate chips, but that might have pushed them out of the blondie camp and into chocolate chip cookie territory. The coconut added some nice texture, but the coconut flavor was pretty subtle.

The version of the recipe in the cookbook calls for walnuts instead of pecans, and an additional cup of butterscotch chips or Health Toffee Bits. I think that toffee bits would be amazing in these broundies, and next time I will definitely throw those in as well! I absolutely plan on making these again, and I think I will probably stick with the round versions instead of the pan version. I have always preferred the edge and corner pieces of brownies and bars, and by baking the broundies in rings, every one is an edge piece. Plus, how could I ever turn my back on the gorgeous round broundie, when it was love at first sight!

Recipe: "Chewy Chunky Blondies" adapted from Baking From My Kitchen to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, recipe available here at