It’s back to school time . . . but not for me! Nonetheless (nevertheless?), I’ve been doing some homework for you, les readers, trying to get more attuned to your likes and dislikes. Looking back at le blog stats over the last year, I can assume that while you really really really like chocolate chip cookies, you are not that into kale, Brussels sprouts, or other foods that are good for your body (I’m not judging, really, I’m not). Correct me if I’m wrong?
Your favorite/most-viewed posts of the year were:
Fresh Strawberry Pie and a Visit to America’s Test Kitchen
“Legendary” Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
On that note, I’m sharing these completely delicious maybe-better-than-the-legendary-chocolate-chip-cookies Chocolate Chip Espresso Blondies.
We’ll get back to those (but I’m sure I just hooked
all the sugar lovers all of you). First, I want to tell you about Bloglovin and Blogher, two sites that make it way easier for you to follow all your favorite reads. The cool thing about Bloglovin is that it’s easy to just click one button (as you’ll see beneath my “About” photo on the right sidebar) and follow all your blogs in one place. Plus, I find it easier to learn about the writers behind blogs, since everyone has a profile. You can also browse blogs by category.
Blogher is a little different–instead of displaying a feed of blogs from around the web, it displays blog posts published directly on the Blogher site, often linked to the full-text or blog URL. In my opinion, Blogher is neat mainly because it’s focused on women’s writing, plus they have these cool annual conferences where you can meet all the people you’ve been talking to online (for better or for worse). Crandlecakes on Blogher.
Aaaand back to the baked goods. These are amazing as is, and I copied them almost exactly from The Vanilla Bean Blog, which I really like. Sarah’s got all these unique takes on recipes (that led to my forray into oat flour), plus angelic kid photos, plus she used to be a professional baker, so sometimes she shows you how to make gigantic, calorie-packed recipes like this one.
These bars, as they call them in the Midwest, are like, so chewy and soft, but the salt is so salty and the blondie is so blonde, and the crackly top is so paper thin and crackly. I’m positively poetic about them. -_-
Eat the blondies with your pinky out and chuckle at your old self who knew naught about these treasures. Give a few to your friends, but make sure you don’t lead on about how many you have on your hands. Then plan for the bakery you will own and practice your signature for all the young pastry chefs who will come pay homage to you for your work with blondies. Pretend you’ve never heard of Crandlecakes or The Vanilla Bean Blog, take full credit, and become a culinary icon. You know, or just eat them.
Never-Change-I-Love-You-Forever Chocolate Chip Blondies
With only a few minor changes to Sarah’s recipe at The Vanilla Bean Blog
Makes two 9×13 trays of blondies, or you can cut the recipe in half (but why?)
3 cups brown sugar
22 Tablespoons butter (yup)
⅛ cup strong coffee or espresso (Sarah recommends to espresso shots or strong cold-press coffee. I only had brewed coffee, and it was fine!)
3 large eggs
3 Tablespoons vanilla (mmmhmm)
3 cups flour (I used whole wheat and liked the texture)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (a generous teaspoon of coarse sea salt made these AWESOME in my opinion)
1 ½ cups pecans (or not, if you’re cray)
1 ½ cups chocolate chips (bittersweet is tasty!)
Oven 350 F
Grease two 9×13 sheet pans or casserole dishes
1. Dry ingreedz: Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. Wet ingreedz: Melt butter and brown sugar together in a saucepan. Add coffee and stir. Set aside to cool to room temperature in a separate bowl.
3. Add eggs and vanilla to wet ingredients, whisking until combined. Add dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Stir in chips and nuts. Don’t stir more than is necessary.
4. Pour out into sheet pans and spread batter out into an even layer. Bake for 22-26 minutes. Begin checking at 18 minutes, and remove from oven when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs on it, but no gooeyness. When cooled, slice into bars and serve! Why not add a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream? Give me ten good reasons.