Blondie moment

illustration by MARK STIVERS

Every home cook has at least one go-to dessert in their repertoire that they can fall back on should the need arise. My most satisfying and least stressful recipe is the blondie.

Blondies are simple bar cookies that rely on butter and brown sugar for their flavor. They take only three minutes of actual prep time and use ingredients I can almost guarantee you already have. It’s a quick recipe you can slam out before guests arrive, and lately I’ve brought them to a barbecue or two, as they pair well with ribs and beer.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter a 9- or 8-inch square pan. Melt a stick of butter (or brown the butter for a richer, nutty, more caramel-like flavor) and whisk it with a cup of brown sugar (or muscovado, should you have it). Whisk in a teaspoon of vanilla, an egg, 1 cup of flour, half a teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Add some chopped nuts or chocolate chips if you like. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.