It has been a long time since I last baked anything. I'm going to mail a care package to my skating coach in Europe so I decided to include some sweet treats to cheer him up. Blondies and brownies are both sturdy enough to withstand shipping so I gave another two recipes a try from the Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook. The one on the left is Butterscotch-Cashew Blondies (p. 277) and the one on the right is Chocolate-Ginger Brownies (p. 276).
Due to a lack of ingredients at home, I made some minor changes to the recipe. For the blondies, I replaced the toffee bits with equal amount of butterscotch chips. Alas, the toffee bits would have added such a nice crunch and a deeper layer of butterscotch flavour. This is the third blondies recipe I attempted from this cookbook and it is by far superior. The use of cashew is a nice change from the more popular walnuts or pecans. The buttery taste of the nuts made these blondies a rich treat. The texture is cakey and tender.
I love combining chocolate with sweet spices. These chocolate-ginger brownies has a nice bite from the ground and freshly grated ginger. I skipped out on the grated nutmeg and added 100g of dark chocolate chips to the batter to add some bulk. Only afterward did it occur to me that some chopped crystalized ginger would be a great addition to this recipe. The recipe calls for 8 inch square baking pan but I doubt the batter yields enough. Even with the use of the chocolate chips and a 7 inch pan, the finished brownies are merely an inch tall. This is a dense, almost fudge-like, brownie. I would recommend cutting them in smaller servings.