You won’t find a faster, easier dessert that guarantees satisfaction than the classic blondie; however, introducing not-so-classic flavor boosters like saltily-sweet miso and toasty sesame seriously raises this cookie bar’s cool factor. Miso paste is a wonderfully versatile ingredient that can be used to enhance both savory and sweet dishes. For this recipe, be sure to grab white miso (as opposed to yellow or red) as this variety—commonly referred to as “sweet” or “mellow” miso—delivers a more subtle flavor than other common types of miso that have been fermented for a longer period of time. Miso delivers a distinct punch of umami-backed sweetness that, when coupled with butter and brown sugar, intensifies the decadence level of a dessert like these blondies as no other ingredient can. Add delicately warming and nutty notes from a dash of sesame oil in the batter plus a toasty topping of sesame seeds (which provide for both a delightful crunch and an eye-catching aesthetic), and you’ve got one wow-worthy treat. We opted for a blend of white and black sesame seeds to create a fun visual, but feel free to stick with one or the other if you only have one type on hand. If you would prefer, these blondies can also be prepared in an 8-x8-inch metal baking pan instead of a cast-iron skillet—you may simply need to adjust your bake time slightly. Serve warm wedges with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and we guarantee, you’ll never question whether or not blondies have more fun again.
1/4 cup white miso paste
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
11/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
white sesame seeds
black sesame seeds
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.
Place miso in a large bowl; pour warm melted butter over miso and stir with a whisk to begin dispersing the miso paste. Add sugar, vanilla, and oil to bowl, whisking until ingredients are evenly combined. Add egg to bowl; whisk until combined and mixture is glossy.
Stir flour, baking powder, and salt into the miso mixture until fully combined. Spread the batter in an even layer in the prepared pan, smoothing surface with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the surface with black and white sesame seeds to cover completely.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the blondie comes out clean. Cool completely; cut into wedges and serve.
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