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This article originally appeared on KATU ABC

He’s been cooking since he was 6 years old and competed on TV cooking and baking shows since he was 10! TikTok star Matthew Merril joined us to share a recipe from his debut cookbook, “Teen Baking Bootcamp.”

At 10 years old, Matthew competed on “Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship” which catapulted him into the world of Food Network’s culinary competition spotlight. After pulling back from the airwaves, Matthew continued to explore and develop his passion for baking, all while being keeping up with classes and AP tests, staring in his school’s musical, and applying for college. During the start of the pandemic, he took to TikTok to share his love of baking and has amassed an audience of more than 2 million followers who are turning to him for easy advice on how to master the world of cooking and baked goods. In his debut book, he wanted to provide people with handbooks of everything he wished he had as a teen growing up learning how to bake. It’s Matthew’s goal to show people that baking doesn’t have to be intimidating and scary. Instead, it can be a fun and a great way to explore a perhaps hidden creative side.

The book is broken up into six chapters, each of which focuses on a specific type of dessert (cake, cookie, pie, donut, pastry, and bars), and each recipe includes the helpful tips and tricks. Perfect for anyone looking to get started with baking (not just teens!), this book is the ultimate guide to learning the ins and outs of perfecting some of the most popular dessert recipes around.

For more information, check out Matthew’s TikTok or Instagram.

Award-Winning Blondies

In terms of desserts, I’m a simple guy. I love the classic flavor of chocolate chip cookie and the texture of a fudgy brownie. This blondie recipe offers the best of both worlds; the brown sugar–vanilla flavor of cookies in brownie form. I didn’t discover blondies until one summer when my cousins were having a baking competition for their swim team.Wanting to win, my cousins asked me to come over to their house and whip up the winning dessert. Upon arriving, I was shocked to see they had hardly any ingredients. With only 40 minutes until the competition,I was scrambling to come up with an idea, until I came across an old recipe for blondies. They were incredible and took first place! I was able to make them in a short amount of time with limited ingredients,showing how easy and simple these treats are to make.

Serving: 12-15 Blondies

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (114 g; 1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups (330 g) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (168 g) chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) and spray a 9 x 9–inch (23 x23–cm) baking dish generously with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer), mix the butter and brown sugar on high speed until the butter becomes light and fluffy, around 3 minutes.
  4. Crack in the eggs, add the vanilla and mix until they are incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape down the edges of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Pour in the flour mixture and mix on low speed, just until all the flour is incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, spreading it out with a spatula so the batter is in an even layer, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of the pan and it comes out clean.
  7. You can slice the blondies while they are still warm and serve them out of the tray, or allow them to cool completely, flip the baking dish, remove the blondies, and slice into 12 to 15 squares and serve. Eitherway, you’ll enjoy these delicious bars.

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