Excerpt from my cappie horoscope, courtesy of elle.com and the AstroTwins. “For a mystical twist, play a game of bibliomancy. Pick a book, open to a “random” page and read the passage as if it was a tarot card. It may contain an important message for your day.”
I’m totally doing that soon! Books give us wisdom and let us inside someone else’s mind. Even nonfiction stories get us thinking like we normally wouldn’t.
Ready for some blondie action? I made these last week.
I had two huge epiphanies because of these little babies.
1. Ina Garten is a Hamptons baking goddess. (Sugar-free be damned!)
2. Blondies beat brownies. Every single time.
My cookbook stand I got as a Christmas present from my aunt a few years ago is used literally every day. I actually keep it up on my counter with a favorite cookbook out. Currently, it’s open to the same Barefoot contessa volume, but to the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting recipe. You act like I’m into Fall or something!? I like to celebrate anything I can.
This recipe is super easy. Most of Ina’s are straightforward but I was still a little surprised at just how simple and tasty these bars were. I guess I should have been tipped off by it being in Ina’s “Foolproof” cookbook. Some white sugar and brown sugar were creamed with butter. Mixing two types of sugar brings a depth to the sweet taste of the blondies. All brown sugar, and the molasses would overwhelm the other flavors. Just white sugar leaves it a little one-note.
I usually use Enjoy Life chocolate chips or Nestle semi-sweet morsels. I really wanted to find “chunks” not chips. There’s something more decadent to the bigger pieces than the dainty little chips. However, no chunks were to be found. I ended up trying Ghiradelli baking chips. They were good, melting just how I wanted them to, but I still prefer my other two brands. These were a little too sweet for me, at least when I’m going for “semi-sweet.” Have you seen that size bag, though?? It was like lugging around a newborn baby.
I deserve a prize for not eating one lick of batter! I did eat a chocolate chip or two…
The recipe had a crazy weird shaped pan and I didn’t have one even close to that. Er’er go, two round cake pans. I eyeballed it and split the batter in half, then smoothed the tops. My Donna Reed vibe was unintentional but I went with it.
Because of my strange pan choice, I had to cut the edges for purely aesthetic reasons but don’t worry! They did not go to waste. I polished off the baggie full of cookie crusts in two days.
Mmm, straight out of the oven. Golden, butter-crackled, crust. Walnuts and chocolate peeking out.You really can’t skip the step of letting it cool completely if you want any chance at cutting the blondies into pretty bars.
I think we’ve discussed my need for individual foods. You can very well leave your blondies in the pan and cut as you go. I just love the grab and go option with cupcake liners.
Up close and personal, they look even better. Don’t judge my cutting skills. I know they’re all over the size map. Someday I’m taking a knife skills class to learn how to get beautifully uniform mirepoix.
That’s the last one that made it home with me! It was thoroughly enjoyed as part of my Saturday morning breakfast. Duh, of course I eat baked goods for meal one. Just not every day. I highly recommend warming them up for a maybe 15 seconds and putting some ice cream on top. I did not do this at breakfast but that wold have happened if I thought of it before they were gone!
Tell me if you try the recipe! What are your favorite chocolates to use in baking?