Blondies – Call me, call me any, anytime

There are few desserts that I find more simply satisfying or simple to make than Blondies.  I prefer to sing some song by Blondie when I make them, for good luck or good music – either way it works out for me.  I suggest “Call Me”, “Heart of Glass” or “Maria”.  Blondies are not at all like a brownie without chocolate.  A blondies flavor comes from the brown sugary goodness.  It is a dessert in its own right, not to be lumped in with brownies; a dessert I am sure to cover one of these days.  Blondies almost cry out to be served with a glass of ice-cold milk.  They are quick and easy and the result…amazing.  In an 8×8 pan you get 9 blondies.  I eat four, leaving two each for the boys.  Blondies have never brought out my best charitable attributes.   Don’t feel bad if you fall prey to their amber colored siren song.

This time, despite my best efforts of locating vanilla in our postage stamp sized kitchen, I used maple extract.  Maple brown sugar?Can’t be all bad.  Against my better judgement I threw in the 1/3 cup butterscotch chips.  There may be too many things going on and thereby overcomplicating my long-time favorite dessert.

I was at the casino once with my Husband Timothy and he bought one of the largest, best blondies I have ever had.  I should have asked for the recipe but I had casino fever; I came out about a grand ahead, but that was long ago.

The boys love these, I love these.  I don’t think I know anyone in real life that doesn’t like blondies.

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All the materials.

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buttered pan

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buttered and floured pan

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I love love love the look and feel of brown sugar.

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I could swim in the butter brown sugar mixture.

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Here I added the maple extract

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Added the salt, baking powder and baking soda.

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Hoping the butterscotch chips were a good idea.Image

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I always panic they weren’t going to level out in the pan.

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Nothing to do with blondies, but I got this for Tim for Christmas from http://fredandfriends.com

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Blondie belly button 🙂  obviously, that is the hole from the toothpick test.

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OMG cooled and ready to eat.

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looking good old friends

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Serves 9 or 2 depending…

Preheat your oven to 350 F oven.  I think with baking it is important to preheat the over for at least 20 minutes prior to ensure even heat.

1/2 cup of butter, melted
1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t of vanilla – I used maple extract.
1/2 t baking powder
1/8 t of baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of butterscotch chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Prep an 8X8 pan with some butter and flour. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl.

2) Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk.

3) Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix it all together. Add the chocolate chips or other mix-ins.

4) Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. Cut into squares and serve.

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Cheese Straws – Southern or not, mostly delicious

Although my friend Mo and her mom Cat might deny that Cheese Straws are indeed a Southern Classic; I made them and they are wonderful…but what do you eat them with?  The boys “liked them” but the oldest said they dried his mouth out a little and maybe some ham on them would be better.

Below is the recipe I used.  I am not sure I will make them again anytime soon.  Maybe I am not Southern enough or maybe I just wasn’t the biggest fan.  I have read other recipes and they say to bake until crisp.  Maybe I just need to play around with these some more.

I think more salt, and maybe some dry mustard would be an improvement or even some bacon grease, but then again there are very few things that bacon grease doesn’t improve in the kitchen.  Even our cat Thai would likely agree to this idea!

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Our family cat: Thai

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Sifting the dry ingredients together.

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Creaming the butter and cheese together.  Total nightmare. Next time I am using the stand Mixer. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cool it buddy!

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All finished

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Ingredients:
A little less than 2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t kosher salt

2 sticks butter, at room temperature ( apparently softer than 2 hours in a 73 degree house)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese although I hear parmesan works great too.

The How To:

Preheat the oven to 310 degrees F.

Use a mixer to cream together the butter and the cheese then set this aside.  At this point I was ready to throw in the towel because cheese and not quite soft enough butter were flinging  all over the kitchen.  Sift the flour, cayenne pepper and salt together  into a bowl.  Add the dry mixture 1/2 cup at a time into the creamed butter and cheese.  I was told to pipe them onto a cookie sheet using a large star tip.  That wasn’t going to happen in a million years.   I did not get a soft batter but more like a soft pie dough consistency.  Luckily my husband had a cookie spritzer and I used that, which was the perfect tool in my opinion.

Bake for about 15 minutes until set and lightly toasted.  Cool on cookie racks.