Rum Coconut Blondies

Yield:  16 squares (2-inch X 2-inch)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, browned and cooled slightly

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp spiced rum OR tsp rum extract

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

Preheat Oven:  350° F.

Line an 8-inch X 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper allowing it to extend above the top edge of the side.  Take another sheet of parchment and line the pan in the opposite direction.  Allow these ends to also extend up the sides.  Cut any overhang even with the top of the baking dish.  Spray the parchment with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a small pan, brown the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Cook the butter until it begins to turn an amber color and has a nutty aroma.  Pour the butter into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Spread the macadamia nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350° F. for 10 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and coarsely chop.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In the mixing bowl with the brown butter, add the brown sugar.  Mix on low until well blended.  Add the egg and mix until the mixture lightens in color and is smooth.  Mix in the rum and vanilla.  Mix until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly add in the flour mixture.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the white chocolate chips, coconut, and the chopped macadamia nuts. The batter will be thick.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Smooth the top.

Bake the blondies for 22-24 minutes.  They will be shiny, light golden brown, and the top will begin to crack.  Do not over-bake.  Blondies are chewy on the inside.  A tester may not come out clean. Cool completely in the pan.

When cool, use the ends of the parchment to lift the blondies out of the pan.  Transfer them to a cutting board and cut into bite-size squares (2-inch X 2-inch).