Blondies with Bee Balm & Apricots
Servings: 32 bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 ⅓ cups brown sugar
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dried apricots
- ½ cup Monarda leaves and/or flowers loosely packed
- 1 ¼ cups unbleached flour
- 1 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When melted, add the brown sugar and stir. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the brown sugar is thick and syrupy, for about 4 minutes. Stir in the granulated sugar until it is dissolved and remove the pan from the heat to cool; the fat will separate from the sugar.
- Thinly slice the apricots crosswise. Wash, dry, and coarsely chop the Monarda leaves and flowers; there should be about 1/4 cup of chopped herb.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and stir to blend. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture over the apricots and toss to coat them lightly. Whisk the eggs, one at a time, into the warm brown sugar and butter mixture to blend thoroughly. Add the vanilla and stir well.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour and stir until it is just blended. Add the apricots and Monarda and stir until they are just mixed in.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a baking rack before cutting into bars.