In hindsight, baking blondies for my office in the second week of Lent was probably not the best idea I’ve had. Lent is a Christian tradition of penance for the 40 days preceding Easter, usually involving giving up whatever little vice you like the most.Like most things involving guilt and denial, it caught on like wildfire here in Ireland. As a child, I used to give up sweets, but would stockpile the sweets I would normally eat, and then end up eating them all in the space of about a week after Easter.
Other places like Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans kick it off with amazing carnival celebrations that last days in a flurry of parties, music, and vibrant costumes. We decided to go the other way and instead have a day where we eat a few pancakes, followed by six weeks of complaining about not eating chocolate. The key to survival is to adopt strict definitions of what you are giving up. So, for example, giving up chocolate, but not white chocolate, as that does not have cocoa powder. That’s how you can manage to wrangle yourself something as gloriously unhealthy as these. They are soft, chewy and just the right balance of sweet, salt and fat.
Makes 20-25 blondies
- 450g brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 85g honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 225g flour
- 225g butter
- 225g peanut butter
- A handful of roasted sated peanuts, chopped
- 100g white chocolate, chopped
- Beat the eggs and sugar together until well combined.
- Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly (make sure it’s still liquid though).
- Add the butter, peanut butter, honey and vanilla essence to the eggs and sugar and combine well.
- Add the flour and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Stir through the peanuts and white chocolate.
- Pour the batter into a well greased brownie tin.
- Bake at 180C for 30 minutes, then cover with tin foil to stop it browning more and bake for another 15 until it’s set.
- It will still seem a bit liquid, but a skewer in the middle should come out clean.
- Leave to cool for an hour before slicing up.
- This keeps well for a few days in a tin although it’s unlikely to last that long.