Monday, June 24, 2013

First Weekend of Summer!

After last summer, which went by in a blur of back pain, I'm finding myself oddly determined to make the most of this year. So, I got right down to it this first weekend of summer. Phin and I picked strawberries, planted tomatoes and herbs, and grilled up a storm with family on Saturday and just for ourselves yesterday. Plus, I ran a personal best 1 mile (I'm promoting myself from snail to tortoise) and managed to fit in a little bit of sewing and knitting. I'm also in the midst of a baking blitz.

Summer always inspires me to get into the kitchen. I've been working on perfecting a few new-to-me recipes, including this one for blondies. 

Ooey-gooey delicious blondies!

After quite a few batches, I feel like I finally have them right. My early batches were very dense in the center (leaden) and overdone (dry and crunchy) around the edges. These ones came out moist throughout and had the right gooey denseness, without being leaden. Also, these are very very nutty, which is a big plus in my book.

Blondies (Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip ones!)
8Tbsp (4 oz, 1 stick) butter
16 oz (2 c) brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsps vanilla 
1 1/2 c (6 1/4oz) flour
3 eggs
1 1/2 c peanut butter and/or chocolate chips
1 1/2 c (6oz) chopped walnuts or other nuts

Mix sugar, salt, baking powder and vanilla in bowl of stand mixer. Melt butter and mix into sugar. Let cool to room temperature. Add eggs one at a time, beating well  after each addition. Mix in flour, followed by nuts and chips. Bake in a greased 9x13 pan at 350 for 28 minutes. They should still be gooey, but not runny, in the center. 

Mmmmm... blondies!

This is almost exactly the KAF Bakers Companion recipe, but mixed together and baked according to the KAF Whole Grain Baking book recipe. Really, the key difference is that you beat everything in a mixer and bake for a shorter amount of time. Also, I omitted 1/4 tsp of optional butterscotch flavor since I had none. Oh, and I substituted a mix of peanut butter chips and chocolate chips for the butterscotch chips. I used about 2/3 pb and 1/3 chocolate. So these are nutty and delicious with little punches of chocolate. Perfect!

I bake much more than I can eat, even with Phin's help. But I have a very easy storage solution for baked goods: the freezer. At any point in time, you can usually find some assortment of brownies, cookies, bread, muffins, cake and pie in my freezer. (NB: custard-based pies, like pumpkin, don't freeze/thaw very well.)

Ready to be frozen!

After taste-testing, most of the blondies were put on a wax paper lined baking sheet and frozen. Once they were solid, Phin moved them to a zip lock bag for future devouring and sharing. This way, I always have desert for company and something to bring when I'm the company, and I never have to worry about sweets getting stale or eating them all myself.


Clio said...

When I make cookie dough, I leave some batter raw and store it in the fridge. Then every night I can bake a half dozen in the toaster oven.

Clio said...

Can I take a blondie with me to reflect on it and my wrong-doings? LOL

Clio said...

The ones I left out of the freezer disappeared with alarming speed...

Clio said...

I do that too! Or I freeze the dough in cookie sized portions on a baking sheet and when they are frozen into a ziplock they go. Then just add about 1 min to the baking time.

Clio said...

Ah... great minds! Just yesterday, I decided I wanted to experiment and develop the "world's" best blondie. Now you may have done it!

Clio said...

Ooh! I'm always open to further revisions if you have any "eureka!" moments!

Clio said...

Yum! Yummy yum yum! I also put goodies in the freezer for those times when I need something but don't have the time to bake.

Clio said...