For the Perfect Blondie, Look No Further Than the Hershey’s Bag

March 6, 2024

I can’t remember why we decided to make them. My mom, always a baker, had plenty of other treats in her arsenal. But for whatever reason, a bag of Hershey’s mini chocolate chips had found its way into our house, and there was a recipe for blondies printed on the back.

Suffice it to say was a success, and began a blondie-baking tradition that lasts to this day. There were blondies at every sleepover and play rehearsal, every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can’t remember the last family gathering that didn’t involve a pan of blondies being slowly parceled out over the course of a day. I bake them, too, as an easy last-minute sweet when someone is coming over, or when I’m asked to bring dessert to a party.

Blondies tend not to inspire the same fierce opinions as brownies or chocolate chip cookies. Ask someone what makes a perfect blondie, and they probably won’t have an answer — is there such a thing? For me, the answer is decidedly yes, there is, and it starts with the Hershey’s recipe, which serves as a sort of gateway drug to the joy of blondies.

Brownies can get (and I know, this may sound ridiculous to some) too chocolatey. A cake, even one of the oh-so-simple variety, usually still involves a separate glaze or frosting. And there are just too many styles of chocolate chip cookies — crispy, cakey, gooey, crumbly, and so on — that you always risk making precisely the kind your guest hates. But blondies are simple and satisfying, the ideal snacking bake for all. Their flavor is balanced, with the caramel of the brown sugar evening out the chocolate, making them exactly the kind of thing you can eat all day long.

The recipe on the back of the Hershey’s mini chip bag is a perfect beginner blondie. It’s not too fudgy and not too cakey, deliciously rich but not overly dense. It will satisfy, and possibly surprise, just about everyone.

But I will let you in on a little secret to making this recipe even better. The Hershey’s recipe calls, of course, for Hershey’s mini chips. But if you replace them with full-sized ones from another, possibly higher-quality brand, the blondies become truly next level. Larger chips make each bite satisfyingly chunky, and, well, some chocolate just tastes better than others.

My mom no longer bakes these exact blondies, having tweaked the recipe over many years to suit her own preferences. You may decide you like your blondies with white sugar instead of brown, or with the addition of nuts, or made fudgier with extra eggs. There is no shortage of blondie recipes out there. Feel free to play around, but consider this recipe the foundation upon which you can build the blondie of your dreams.

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