What's the Deal With Blondie "Brownies"?

Admittedly I'm channeling Jerry Seinfeld with the title of this post, but I am looking for some insight about "blondies." They seem sort of...confused.

Because I so enjoyed my OMG cookies and cream cupcake from Rice Epicurean Market, I stopped by again on my way back from the gym (the irony does not escape me, thank you) for an after-dinner treat.

I'd planned on trying another variety of OMG cupcake, but I went home for the very first time with a blondie. I had previously rejected these baked goods, in part because they seemed to be suffering from some serious identity confusion: vanilla-flavored, yet often classified as brownies. The blondie seemed very much an even dumber version of white chocolate.

While I can't speak to the quality of this blondie in comparison to others available in Houston, I will say The Market's version (two moist vanilla dough layers that sandwich a filling of white chips and butterscotch) was better than I expected. It wasn't particularly sophisticated in flavor and certainly a far cry from the OMG cupcakes, but nonetheless very good. Some ice-cold skim milk tempered some of the borderline excessive sweetness and a quick pop in the microwave melted the caramel just enough so it dripped a bit onto the bottom layer.

I don't count white chocolate as a type of chocolate, and therefore I won't count the blondie as a type of brownie. I think the blondie deserves its own genre, something that reflects its hybrid non-chocolate, vanilla-bar status. And perhaps a name that doesn't also invoke a certain breed of fair-haired woman who isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

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Joanna O'Leary