brown sugar | brownies | chocolate | cookies | desserts | nuts | recipe | treats

Debbie Harry cookie bars.

July 31, 2009

Well happy birthday to me! Yesterday was my 28th birthday. And I know I said I wouldn’t be back until August, but Tania mentioned the other day on Twitter that she was making blondies, and well.. they sounded so damn good, I had to make some myself. So here we are with some Debbie Harry cookie bars!

Also known as: Peanut chocolate chip blondies. Get it, blondies?

In case you live in a cave:

A blondie is a rich, sweet bar cookie. They are made from flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, and vanilla. Blondies may contain white or dark chocolate chips, but the dominant flavor of a blondie is butterscotch, not chocolate. They may also contain walnuts or pecans.

Blondies are a non-chocolate variation of the traditional chocolate brownie. They are baked in a pan in the oven similar to how traditional brownies are baked, then cut into rectangular shapes for serving.


Blondie is an American pop/rock band. Founded by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein [1], the band was a pioneer in the early American new wave and punk rock scenes of the mid 1970s. Their first two albums contained strong elements of these genres, and although successful in the United Kingdom and Australia, Blondie was regarded as an underground band in the United States until the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. Over the next three years, the band achieved several hit singles and was noted for its eclectic mix of musical styles incorporating elements of disco, pop and reggae, while retaining a basic style as a new wave band.

The band broke up after the release of their 1982 album “The Hunter”. Debbie Harry continued to persue a solo career with varied results (though she took a few years off to care for partner Chris Stein, who had developed a life-threatening illness). Keyboardist Jimmy Destri also embarked on a solo career of his own with somewhat less success than Harry. [2]

The group reformed in 1997, achieving renewed success and a number one single in the United Kingdom with “Maria” in 1999. The group toured and performed throughout the world over the following years, and was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the RockWalk of Fame in 2006.[3]

So there you have it. These blondies are named after the lead singer of the band Blondie, Debbie Harry, in my long standing tradition of naming baked goods for musical acts. In the past I’ve made ‘Man in Black’ cupcakes (Johnny Cash, for those of you uninitiated in the greatness that is Mr. Cash) and ‘For Boston! Cream cupcakes’ as well (Dropkick Murphy’s reference, anyone?). I love Ms. Debbie Harry, and it seemed only fitting I name these for her.

It’s very hard for me to be cooped up inside in the summer making complex cupcake or cake recipes, so I apologize for the lack of cupcakes here at Cupcake Rehab. But cookie bars are fun and delicious and easy to make in the heat (and convenient to take on picnics or to barbecues too!).

I used honey roasted peanuts in mine, and added some Starbucks Coffee flavored ice cream on top, yum yum.


Get together this stuff:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup salted roasted peanuts, divided
  • ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided

And do the following with ’em:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour an 8″x8″x2″ metal baking pan.
  2. Whisk 1 cup flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl to blend. Melt ½ cup butter in a heavy large saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add sugar and whisk until smooth.
  3. Cool mixture 2 minutes; whisk in eggs and vanilla. Using a flexible spatula, stir in flour mixture, then half of peanuts and half of chocolate chips.
  4. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and peanuts. Bake blondies until golden, tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and edges just begin to pull away from sides of pan.; about 30 minutes.
  5. Cool completely in pan on rack; then cut into 16 squares and serve.

These can be made 2 days ahead. Just cover lightly and store at room temperature. I made mine in a slightly longer pan (9×12″) and it was fine.

They were ab-fab and I totally recommend them. Thanks to Bon Appétit magazine for the original recipe!

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