Ooooohhhh… dessert bars. It’s been four months since the last time I made one. Why am I forgetting such simple and easy recipe, not to mention my most favorite form of dessert, such as this?
Yep yep, I know. I can hear your thoughts. Blondies are nothing new. There are tons of great blondie recipes out there. Mine might not be the best. But I can assure you, anyone who’ll try this will say “More please???” or “Recipe, please?” or “Can I take this home?” or “Can I take you home and bake this for me?”
Whoopsie. Instant #bae catcher ?
The main highlight for this blondie recipe is a product from the Philippines — the chewy and sweet and delicious and addicting dried mangoes. You can find them at specialty stores, groceries and supermarkets. They are practically available everywhere just like the fresh mango fruit (plenty of mango trees outside our house and in the neighborhood!) I want to use a local product this time as my support and tribute for our 118th Independence Day last Sunday.
By the way, this blondie recipe is a copycat of my favorite Red Ribbon’s Mango Bars. I really really love it! Never missed buying those Mango Bars whenever we pass by at Red Ribbon’s bakeshop.
This might not taste exactly like their Mango Bars but I guess this is the closest if not at par.
In this recipe, I used browned butter to pump up the flavor. And there’s brown sugar. Oh la la. It adds moist, extra chew and caramel aftertaste to these blondies. I liked how well the browned butter, brown sugar and dried mangoes complement each other. Imagine a blondie that tastes like butterscotch sweetened by mangoes… okay, sorry but I will now pop your thought bubbles *pop Pop PoP pOp*
The batter of this recipe is thick and sticky, so it will be quite a challenge to spread the batter evenly into the pan. We want the blondie batter cooked EVENLY, as much as possible. The first time I tried this I was in a hurry (I was making two different recipes), I did not bother to spread it evenly so the batter in the middle was thicker than the sides. So what happened was the sides baked faster than the middle making them very dry and overbaked, while the middle was still moist. So do your best! Get your sturdy spatula and work some muscles!
Sprinkle top with remaining diced dried mangoes before baking. Yummeh!
Another tip: use kitchen shears/scissors when cutting dried mangoes because they are very chewy or gummy. Knives will work but kitchen shears will make this task a lot easier.
Just like what I always say in my cookies or dessert bars recipes, these blondies are best served the next day. That’s when the flavors have conspired and connived and joined forces to make anyone say “Oh darn what’s this? It’s so goooood who the heck baked this?”
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (156g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt (or 1/8 teaspoon)
- 3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar
- 1 large egg (or 68g when weighed w/ shell)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100g dried mangoes, cut into small pieces, divided
- Make the brown butter. Place butter in a lightly colored skillet or saucepan (white or silver, so you can easily see the butter browning) and set the stove to low to medium heat. The melted butter will start crackling, that's when the milk solids (white foam separating from the melted butter) will start browning. You may swirl the pan or stir with a wired whisk or heat-proof spatula to prevent the butter from browning too quickly. Once the milk solids turn golden brown, immediately transfer the browned butter to a bowl as the heat from the pan will continue to cook the milk solids. We want it golden brown, not burnt! Let the brown butter cool in the bowl as you prepare other ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 8x8" pan with foil leaving an overhang on the sides for easy lift.
- Stir flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Once the browned butter has cooled, add brown sugar. Using a spatula, mix until it looks like a paste. Then add eggs and vanilla, stir. Gradually add flour mixture (in 3 additions). Fold in chopped dried mangoes. Do not overmix the batter.
- The batter will become thick and sticky so it will be hard to spread it into the pan EVENLY, but do the best you can! Sprinkle top with remaining diced dried mangoes.
- Bake for 12 minutes. When top has set and sides start to pull away from the pan then it's done. No need to wait for the top to turn golden brown. Transfer the pan into a wired rack and let it cool before cutting into squares.
- These mango blondies are best served the next day, though you can eat it right away if you can't hold yourself any longer. Blondies stay fresh for a week. Keep the leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature, but I assure you they won't last long!
- Use kitchen shears/scissors in cutting or dicing dried mangoes as they are very chewy. Knives work but takes up a lot of time (and effort) than scissors.
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