Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Weekend + Blondies

It has been a relaxed yet busy Easter weekend. We've been to a family Easter lunch, we celebrated the boyfriend's mom's birthday on Friday night, we went to the design store Paustian and had lunch at their restaurant on Saturday (can highly recommend it!), and yesterday we went for a quick walk by the lake before going to the Easter service at Regen. Today is a little more of a "normal" Monday. The boyfriend is out helping some friends move and I'm going to my usual Monday afternoon class at Hamsa. It's been a really good weekend, full of family, friends, and remembering what Easter is all about.

I also made some blondies last night, and let me tell you, they are addictive! They're basically like a thick version of my favorite chocolate chunk cookies with some extra goodies thrown in! They are easier to make than cookies and you usually have the ingredients already on hand. Blondies are a great way to use up leftover candy, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate that you have in your kitchen. For my blondies, I used about 3/4 cup chocolate chunks, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, and a few handfuls of slivered almonds. Writing about them now makes me want to go out to the kitchen and grab another little bite!

Blondies (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Fills an 8 x 8 pan, or a long loaf pan

113g unsalted butter, melted and browned 
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup all purpose flour

Additions, use one or a combination!

1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup dried fruit
use different extracts or some alcohol (mint extract, bourbon, whiskey, etc.)
top with a ganache or with a vanilla or chocolate peanut butter buttercream frosting

Butter or line the pan that you are using for the blondies and preheat the oven to 175C or 350F. 

Mix melted and browned butter with the brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.

Add salt and stir in flour. Mix until combined and then add in your additions. 

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set in the middle. I took mine out at 25 minutes but I could have left it in there for a few more minutes. The top and the bottoms had formed a nice shiny crust but the insides were still quite undercooked. However, they do firm up once they've cooled and I tend to like my cookies a bit undercooked. 

And that's it! Simple, quick and easy. Blondies - make them! 

I hope you had a lovely Easter and I hope your week has gotten off to a great (and sunny) start!

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