I have always preferred blondies to brownies, and it's not because of a dislike for chocolate. Most of the time, I am not a fan of richness of fudgy brownies. And even a fluffier cake-like brownie can't seem to beat a blondie of the same texture. Maybe it's because I eat bar baked goods for the crunchy edges, which the addition of chocolate seems to steal the limelight from. Besides, dried fruit like apricots seems a little odd with fudge.
This recipe is adapted from Food & Wine, but the original wet-to-dry ingredient ratio made the dough too dry and mealy. I adjusted the amount of butter, egg, and brown sugar. And since this is baked in a square 8-inch pan, 12 of my 16 slices ended up with the crispy sweet edge that is best part of any pan dessert.
Apricot Blondies Adapted from Food & Wine
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 cup light brown sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 large eggs 1 cup dried apricot halves, chopped 1/2 cup roasted almonds, chopped
Preheat oven to 325°. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper. In a separate bowl, with a hand-held mixer or spatula and strong arms, cream butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until well-combined. Beat in egg until mixture is smooth. Add flour mixture in 3 stages until a dough forms. Mix in apricot and almonds.
Scrape dough into prepared baking pan and even out the top with a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool complete, then slice into squares.