Serious Eats: Sweets
American Classics: By Cracky Bars
For those who can't bear to choose between a blondie and a brownie, there's a dessert that perfectly marries the two: the By Cracky bar. Second prize winner in the 1952 Pillsbury Bakeoff, the By Cracky Bar was the genius creation of fifteen-year-old Yvonne Whyte of New Bedford, Massachusetts. For her efforts, young Miss Whyte won $2,000, a GE electric range, an electric mixer and the undying gratitude of dessert lovers all across the country.
The simplicity of the recipe undoubtedly appealed to the Pillsbury judges. You make just one batter and then divide it into two bowls—dress one up with chocolate chips for the blondie layer and add chocolate and nuts to the other for the brownie layer and "by cracky!" you're well on your way.
While the bars are about the height of a typical blondie or brownie, they are jam packed with flavor. The chocolate chip studded vanilla top layer is separated from the dense and chewy brownie bottom by graham crackers, which draw moisture from both batters resulting in a cakelike middle ground with the familiar lightly malty graham flavor. Cakey, chewy, and crunchy, chocolatey and nutty, this bar satisfies on every level.
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About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered children's book editor by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie and a Midtown Lunch contributor. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.