June 12, 2014 at 1:00 am

Simply the Best

Go for the goldie, a lemon 'brownie'

Lemon goldies can be made with or without blueberries. (Kate Lawson / The Detroit News)

My Internet trolling tells me that the chocolate brownie has been around since the 1893 World Fair in Chicago, when a chef at the Palmer House Hotel created the cookie/cake combo for the ladies in attendance. Since then, the brownie has come in many forms, from fudgey to cakey (depending on their density) and can include a wide variety of ingredients from nuts to chocolate chips, coconut and dried fruit. A variation made with brown sugar — and sans chocolate — is usually called a blondie.

So I was confused when I came across this recipe for Lemony Lemon Brownies, which has made the rounds on social media. I adore lemon, so of course I was reeled in, but I take issue with the name. If a blondie is a brownie made without chocolate, how can one made with lemon and no chocolate still be a brownie?

Anyway, I did some experimenting, adding chopped toasted almonds on top and another time, fresh blueberries to the lemony batter. I ceremoniously pronounced this lovely sweet a lemon goldie.

It has the texture of a brownie, but with wonderful lemon flavor and more density than the ubiquitous lemon bars. The next time I bake, I will make a batch of both chocolate brownies and lemon goldies, served with a chocolate drizzle.

Lemony Lemon Goldies

Recipe adapted from food.com

2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt (preferably sea salt)
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh blueberries, optional
½ cup sliced toasted almonds, optional

For the tart lemon glaze

4 tablespoons lemon juice
8 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8- by 8-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

Zest and juice lemons and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, salt and softened butter until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice until combined.

Pour it into the flour mixture and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Fold in blueberries if using.

Pour into baking dish and bake for 23-25 minutes; it should turn golden around the edges.

Allow to cool completely before glazing. Do not overbake, or the bars will be dry.

For the glaze, sift the confectioner’s sugar and whisk with lemon zest and juice.

Spread the glaze over the brownies with a rubber spatula and let glaze set. Sprinkle with almonds, if using. Cut into bars and serve. Serves 12.

Per serving (including blueberries and almonds): 237 calories; 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat; 42 percent calories from fat); 32 g carbohydrates; 23 g sugar; 57 mg cholesterol; 62 mg sodium; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber.