Considering how much of a cookie fanatic I am, you’d think I would have more familiarity with blondies. Yet it took me a surprising amount of time to fall for the blondie. Maybe since they aren’t single serve, so they require more of an immediate “crowd” to feed? Perhaps because I thought they were like cookies for cheaters? It’s hard to know for sure, but it wasn’t until Amelia first made us the drunken blondies from Back in the Day Bakery that I realized I was missing out on an entire subgroup of baked goods.
Similarly, it took me years after purchasing the Ovenly cookbook before I got around to trying any of the recipes. Ovenly’s recipes looked good, of course (otherwise I wouldn’t have bought the cookbook!), but another Brooklyn bakery had already captured my adoration and it was difficult to tear myself away from the sweet world of possibilities offered by Baked. Then, I tried a couple of Ovenly’s cookie recipes during the 12 days of cookies and I realized again I’d been missing out. I’ve now baked well over 3 recipes and I’ve loved every one except the hazelnut meringues. The meringues weren’t bad, just rather dense and not similar enough to the light and airy, nutty meringue cookie I was expecting (based on the Almond-Pistachio Meringue cookies I love from Zanotto’s).
Anyways… on to the point of this blog post. These boozy fog blondies are, in my opinion, even better than the drunken blondies. Caleb vehemently disagrees with me (he likes these, just not as much), but my parents are on my side.
I’ve made a few tiny adjustments, but otherwise this recipe is very true to the original source: Ovenly.
Boozy Fig Blondies
- 3/4 cup dried Black Mission figs
- 1/2 cup dried black currants
- 1 cup whiskey or bourbon
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
- 2 cups (260 g) flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups (430 g) light brown sugar packed
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
- 1/2 cup pistachios raw
In a small saucepan, bring the whiskey/bourbon to a low boil over medium heat. While the whiskey heats, chop the figs into 1/4-inch pieces. Place the chopped figs and the currants in a medium, heatproof bowl. Once the whiskey boils, pour it over the figs and currants. Let them soak for at least an hour. Use a mesh sieve to drain the fruit and reserve the whiskey in a separate small bowl.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan (or using the microwave at half power for a minute or two). Let cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and lightly flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Roughly chop the pistachios.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cloves to combine.
Pour the cooled butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or another large bowl. Add the brown sugar and mix on medium speed or whisk vigorously to combine, about 2-4 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and reserved whiskey. Beat on medium-low until smooth.
Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed or fold together until just barely combined. Add the coconut, booze-soaked fruit, and chopped pistachios*, then fold to incorporate. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, leveling out the top and ensuring even corners.
Bake for 33-35 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown, your kitchen is fragrant with the smell of these blondies, and a toothpick comes out clean.
Place the pan on a wire rack and let the blondies cool completely, then slice and serve.
These blondies become softer and more flavorful over time, so they keep beautifully. They will last stored in an airtight container at room-temperature for at least 4 days.
*The original recipe has you sprinkle the pistachios over the batter instead of incorporating them in. I preferred them in my blondies rather than sitting on top, but this choice is entirely up to you. They'll be a bit crunchier and provide more textural contrast if you only sprinkle them over top instead of incorporating them in the batter.