Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Blondies

Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Blondies
This Fresh Strawberry Blondies recipe is the perfect way to combine fresh strawberries and chewy brown sugar blondies into one delicious dessert. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

Every time strawberry season rolls around, I start dreaming up ways to use my favorite berry (although it’s not actually a berry). From my Strawberry Jam Pound Cake to my Strawberry Chess BarsStrawberry PieStrawberry CobblerStrawberry Sheet Cake and Strawberry Sauce, I just love incorporating strawberries into dessert.

A strawberry lover’s dream dessert. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

For the past few years, I’ve tried to create a strawberry blondie that combined my favorite chewy, brown-sugar-flavored bar cookie with the sweet and tart flavor of strawberry. But the problem was that every attempt produced a soggy-bottomed blondie.

I could add some strawberry extract or strawberry jam to the plain blondies to add the flavor, but I really wanted fresh strawberries in the mix.

I knew that the problem lay in the moisture of the strawberries. When they’re cooked, they release that moisture, adding too much liquid to the batter, making for soggy blondie bottoms. And no one likes a soggy bottom.

I considered the idea of roasting the strawberries. That would remove the extra liquid and intensify the flavor, but when I want some blondies, I don’t want to have to tear down the kitchen to make them. And having to roast strawberries just seemed like too much sugar for a dime to me.

After testing, and testing, and testing (I think we made eight different variations) we landed on a method that removes that extra moisture without tons of additional steps — simply pressing the diced strawberries between a few layers of paper towels. It worked brilliantly and was the simple, easy method I was hoping to find.

So, after more batches of blondies than I care to admit making, we arrived right where we needed to be.

These caramelly blondies are studded with strawberry flavor and none of the sogginess. And to gild the lily, we added a super-simple glaze on top. Once the glaze is dry, it gives the top of the blondies a crunchy texture and flavor that we felt really added to them.

One other thing we discovered during our testing is that the temperature of the butter really does affect your baked goods. Using soft, room-temperature butter always yielded the best results. If it gets too warm and melted, we found that often the edges would bubble up and over on top of themselves – making for not-so-pretty blondies. So, I wrote the recipe to specifically call for room-temperature butter. It really does make a difference.

Spread the glaze over the blondies. If desired, allow the glaze to harden overnight. Slice and serve. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

Fresh Strawberry Blondies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 9

Ingredients

  • ½ cup diced strawberries
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature (not melted)
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place the strawberries between several layers of paper towels and press firmly to wick out some of the moisture. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, stir the butter, brown sugar and white sugar together.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla and stir until incorporated.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  7. Add the strawberries and stir.
  8. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 28 to 33 minutes or until golden brown and set.
  9. Allow to cool completely.
  10. Make the glaze by stirring the powdered sugar, strawberry jam and water together until smooth.
  11. Spread over the blondies.
  12. Allow the glaze to harden overnight, if desired.
  13. Slice and serve.
  14. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to five.

 This recipe originally appeared on SouthernBite.com. For more great recipes, visit the website or check out ”The Southern Bite Cookbook.”

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