Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sweet Tooth

I have been following this really fun but also incredibly dangerous blog, ironically written by someone named Jessica.  I think we have more in common than just our names because her love of sweets is both shockingly beautiful and disgusting - she has recipes for "better than crack" brownies and also "peanut butter bacon" blondies.  This woman takes unhealthy food to a new level.  But I love it.

I tried two of her recipes over the past few days.  The Baileys Brownies were a total flop - did not solidify at all (however that didn't keep me from snacking on the crispy edges all morning) and the Peanut Butter Frosted Chocolate Chip Blondies which were so dangerously sweet that I decided only my 13 year old students would like them.

I was both right and wrong.  My students LOVED them and commented that they tasted like "snickers bars" and "reece's peanut butter cups" which are awesome compliments.  I had a few left-over and threw them on to the staff room table where they were gobbled up in seconds.  So I guess they were great for both kids and adults, even though they had about a pound of butter in them!  I'm sure no adult wants to hear that (don't  look at the photos below if you want to delude yourself into thinking that squares are healthy)...

This bowl is pretty much butter, sugar, and a pile of choc chips!

Wait wait...I'm not done yet.

My plan was to make the Bailey's Brownies for my friend Mark's birthday.  Since they flopped, I had to come up with a new plan.  So I made these Chocolate Banana Breakfast Bars and my no-fail Chocolate Chip Blondies.  Both were a hit at the party, even though I got distracted watching Sex and the City and left the Blondies in the oven too long.
These Banana Chips added great texture to the squares!

It was a lot of fun baking these treats - far more fun than the 12k run that I didn't do (but plan to accomplish this afternoon - I hope).  With all the holidays and festivities coming up in the next couple of months, hopefully I will be able to experiment with a few more sweet treats!

Recipe for Chocolate Chip Blondies (from 500 Cookies by Philippa Vanstone, Quintet Pub. Ltd. London, 2005)

You will need a scale for this recipe - or you can convert measurements online.

150g Plain Flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp)
115g unsalted butter
200g light brown sugar (reg brown sugar is fine but blondies will be less "blonde")
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
115g plain chocolate chips (I usually use more than this)
115g coarsly chopped walnuts (I don't add these because I don't like mixing healthy stuff with unhealthy stuff)

Preheat oven to 175c or 350f.  Line an 8 inch square tin with baking parchment.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

Cut Butter into chunks and melt in a saucepan over very low heat (do not burn the butter!).  Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar.  Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in flour mixture with a spoon and add chocolate chips/walnuts.  Spread mixture into the tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.  

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin.  Lift blondies out by the parchment and slice into squares on a chopping board.

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