Spicy Ginger-Honey Blondies
This recipe is from Good Enough.
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The intense, almost sharp sweetness of honey, cut by the spiciness of ground and fresh ginger, amplified by the slightest hint of cayenne, against a background of gooey brown-butter blondies
is quite the experience. I love making desserts because it really feels like play. With savory foods, I always feel like nature is the true cook. A basil omelet, for example, is the product of the chickens and the earth and gentle tending from the farmer. Desserts, though, are somehow authentic to the baker—a treat crafted for a highly specific experience, with sugar carrying that chosen flavor and presenting it to your tongue like a slap on the back. Desserts feel both human and reverent, like art.
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 heaping tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (plus a pinch)
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- vegetable oil (for oiling the measuring cup) optional
- 1/2 cup honey
- flaky sea salt for the top
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
- Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Take it off the heat and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the sugar, 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) of the ground ginger, the grated ginger, the salt, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the cayenne in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Gently pour the slightly cooled butter into the bowl with the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, and then whisk the mixture until it looks like a smooth caramel, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and whisk to incorporate it.
- Sprinkle the flour over the top of the caramel-colored batter and whisk until no floury pockets remain.
- Oil a glass measuring cup, if desired (see note), and add to it the remaining 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and a pinch of cayenne. Add the honey and gently stir to mix it with the ginger and cayenne.
- Pour the blondie batter into the prepared pan and smooth it to fill the pan evenly, all the way to the edges. Drizzle the honey mixture over the top and use a butter knife to gently swirl the honey into the batter in long ripples. Bang the pan gently on the counter to even out the batter. Sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt, as desired.
- Bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out with just a few little bits of batter on it, 35 to 40 minutes. You want the blondies a little underdone and moist, so you don’t want a perfectly clean knife here. Let the blondies cool to room temperature, then cut them into squares and enjoy. They keep for a week or so in a sealed container at room temperature (although you will probably have eaten them or given them away by then!).
Note: Oiling the measuring cup is optional, but it really helps the honey slide out of the cup easily, and you won’t lose a lot of honey sticking to the cup.