Tag Archives: bon appetit

The Salty Road

I was really excited when I saw this feature of the Brooklyn based confectioner  The Salty Road taffy company. A woman kicking ass in a male dominated profession, raising the art of something as simple and low-brow as salt water taffy? I knew two things, one – I needed to share this with you guys, and two – I need to try some of that taffy.

After looking around on their website a bit, I decided to buy a few of their “baby boxes” so I could try more flavors and have less to give away just in case I didn’t care for the flavor. After some needlessly complicated decision making, I selected my four flavors and a few days later I got this delightful little package in the mail.

To do an accurate sampling of the offerings, I selected two classic taffy flavors: Vanilla Bean & Strawberries and Cream, and two unusual flavors: Salted S’mores & Roasted Corn with Black Pepper. Andy and I tried all of them the day they came in and we had a mix of reactions. First of all, it wasn’t Andy’s thing, he is a bit salt sensitive and the crystals of sea salt proved to be a bit much for his personal taste. Me on the other hand, it was one of the big selling points on these tiny treats. My two favorites were the Salted S’mores and the Strawberries and Cream. The former was everything you want from the beloved campfire treat and the smoke element really made it something special. The Strawberries and Cream was a grown-up version of one of my all time favorite taffy flavors. There was a tang to the natural strawberry flavor that drove home the fact that this was made with real strawberries instead of flavored extract. The Vanilla Bean and the Roasted Corn with Black Pepper were perfectly fine, but not quite special enough to be repurchased in my next order. 

Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical when I placed my order. Sure they were featured by Bon Appetit, but it’s taffy – how special can it be? But The Salty Road absolutely delivered. So much so that I am toying with the idea of buying a bunch of the baby boxes as stocking stuffers for friends and family, and I keeping my fingers crossed that there will be some sort of special holiday flavor that I can try out when I do.


Gooey Brown Butter Blondies with Pecans

I’ve been feeling a little bored with my standard bakes lately. They’re still good, don’t get me wrong, but they just aren’t scratching that itch anymore. After a relatively brief tour around Pinterest, I landed on a recipe from Bon Appetit for Gooey Brown Butter Blondies with Pecans. I decided to go with something that was sweet, but really highlighting more savory flavor elements like brown butter and toasted pecans, and I have to tell you I was delighted with the results.

INGREDIENTS

Brown butter mixture

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour

Blondie

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more
  • 1½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1¾ cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vanilla ice cream (for serving)

RECIPE PREPARATION

Brown butter mixture

  • Cook butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns, 5–8 minutes. Transfer brown butter to a medium bowl; let cool slightly. Add egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until mixture is light and falls back onto itself in a slowly dissolving ribbon, about 3 minutes. Fold in flour.

Blondie

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 13×9” baking dish and dust with flour. Toast pecans on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.

  • Whisk baking powder, salt, and 2¼ cups flour in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar and 1 cup butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating between additions; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in vanilla.

  • Reduce speed to low and mix in dry ingredients. Fold in half of pecans. Scrape two-thirds of batter into prepared baking dish; smooth top, pushing batter to edges. Alternating, dollop brown butter mixture and remaining batter on top. Smooth and sprinkle remaining pecans over.

  • Bake until blondie is golden brown and firm (a tester will not come out clean), 30–35 minutes. Let cool before slicing. Serve with ice cream.

  • DO AHEAD: Blondies can be made 1 day ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Notes:

  • This recipe was a little more complex than your standard dump and mix but well within the reach of the casual baker.
  • Hands down one of the best recipes I’ve tried. I loved it; my husband loved it; an office full of my new coworkers loved it. One guy even told me it was one of the best things he’d ever eaten. This is a fantastic option for a situation that calls for something a little extra special.