Yesterday, I asked my dad what he wanted for Father’s Day.

This is usually an exercise in futility, because he almost always says “world peace” or names a tool so specific (e.g. a Makita Lithium-Ion Half-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Compact Drill and Driver with 450 inch pounds of torque) that my brain shuts down and defaults to its “Lowe’s gift card” setting.

But yesterday was different. He said he wanted “mass quantities of something sweet.”

So, I thought we’d make a few things your dad (or baby-daddy) might like for Father’s Day, starting with these super-easy (and delicious) Bourbon Blondies.

Blondies are a lot like brownies, but they’re made with brown sugar instead of chocolate or cocoa, so they’re very sweet, rich, chewy and buttery. And they’re easy to make, because you just stir the ingredients together and bake them.

If you’ve ever had Congo bars, this recipe for Bourbon Blondies will seem very familiar. Both are blondie recipes that include chocolate chips, coconut and pecans, but there’s a big difference in quantity. Congo bars are absolutely loaded with those mix-ins. There’s no dominant flavor. But for these Bourbon Blondies, we dial the mix-ins way back, so you can really taste the butter and brown sugar. And you can taste the bourbon, which would be lost as lost in a Congo bar as I get in the power tools section at Home Depot.

Oh, and feel free to experiment with these bars. If your dad doesn’t isn’t into coconut, pecans and chocolate, try peanut butter, white chocolate or butterscotch chips; dried cherries or cranberries; chopped peanuts, walnuts or mac nuts, etc. Or, make a Bourbon Blondie Sundae with one of these blondies topped with caramel sauce and ice cream.

Bourbon Blondies

Adapted from Cheryl Day and Griffith Day’s “The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook”

Makes 24 bars

  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, milk or semisweet
  1. To Toast the Coconut: Spread the coconut in a baking pan, and bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees F. Toss every couple of minutes to make sure it doesn’t get too brown. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, and line with parchment, letting the ends of the paper hang over two opposite edges of the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Grab a wooden spoon and a large bowl. Place the melted butter and brown sugar in the bowl, and stir until smooth.
  5. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and bourbon.
  6. Stir in the flour mixture, adding it a 1/2 cup at a time.
  7. Stir in the pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips.
  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Cool the pan on a wire rack.
  9. When the pan is completely cool, use the parchment paper to pull the blondies out of the pan. Cut them into bars, and dig in!

Storage: The blondies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Nutritional Information (Per Bar) – calories: 170, fat: 11g, carbs: 17g, fiber: 1g, protein: 2g. (WW PP+ = 5)