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Greek extra virgin olive oil is a versatile product and a staple of Greek cuisine. Besides offering many health benefits, olive oil adds great flavor to savory and sweet recipes, and also keeps cakes moist. Try the following olive oil blondies recipe for a sweet treat. Blondies are a type of bar cookie, similar to brownies in texture, but without the emphasis on chocolate. According to The Guardian, blondies were being whipped up in the late 19th century, but chocolate brownies are a more recent invention, developed in 1905.
Olive Oil Blondies
For the caramel:
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt
For the blondies:
3/4 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking pan
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2/3 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
A pinch of flaky salt
To make the caramel, stir together the sugar and the water in a 1-quart pot with a cover over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins simmering, 2-3 minutes. Cover the pot and continue cooking until the mixture just begins to caramelize, 3-5 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking while swirling the pot for about 1 minute for even heating until the mixture becomes a deep caramel color. Remove the pot from the heat and add the heavy cream slowly and carefully, since the mixture will foam up quickly watch out for the steam, and then add the olive oil, and stir to combine. Add the salt and stir. Pour the caramel into a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool. The caramel can be made up to 3 days in advance. Keep it stored, tightly covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
To make the blondies, whisk together the olive oil, brown sugar, sea salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. The mixture should be creamy. Set the bowl aside for about 30 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve for a chewier texture to the baked blondies. Whisk the mixture occasionally while preparing the nine-inch square baking pan. Lightly oil the pan with olive oil and line the bottom and two sides of the pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and make sure the rack is at the lower-middle position. Stir the flour and toasted almonds into the mixture until just combined. Transfer about two-thirds of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with an offset spatula. Spoon the caramel about a teaspoon at a time all over the top of the batter in the pan, and then top with spoonfuls of the remaining batter. With the tip of the offset spatula or a knife, swirl the top layer of batter with the caramel underneath without reaching into the bottom layer of batter. Top with the flaky salt and bake for about 35 minutes until puffed and the top is set. Cool completely before removing from the pan. Cut the cooled blondies into pieces and serve or store in an airtight container for up to a week.
PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.
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