I am still recovering here and everything is a bit delayed, so if you are an ardent follower, it may seem like my timing’s off. My apologies. To be clear, Sunday was National Blonde Brownie Day. I’m writing about that on Monday morning. I slept late (to 9:00!) this morning, but after a weekend with a total of about 5 hours of sleep (half of which was sitting in a bus), I needed it. We went to bed right after the Patriots game and I can’t believe I actually made it through the whole game without passing out. In any case, I still managed to celebrate the Blonde Brownie yesterday and so my quest goes on.
The blonde brownie (also know as a blondie) is like a regular brownie except that instead of cocoa powder that you use in a traditional brownie, you use brown sugar, molasses, butterscotch or vanilla. The blondie actually predates the chocolate brownie as the availability of cocoa powder was not as readily available as molasses, so early bakers could whip up a batch of these cake-like bars which are decedents of gingerbread. The name blondie doesn’t come into use until the 1980’s. They are not affiliated with the comic strip character (that’s an alternative fact), but just named for their lighter hue.
I was really hoping Betty Crocker would help me here. I was approaching the ‘Baking Needs’ aisle at Clements with all the hopes of a little boy peering around the corner waiting to see what Santa brought him. I just wanted to see that blondie-in-a-box mix so all I had to do was add some eggs and bake. But alas, Betty doesn’t do Blondies, or at least Clements doesn’t sell the mix (upon investigation, they do make a mix, I just didn’t find it). So without any other plan, I searched for and found a recipe on FoodNetwork.com while I was in the aisle and made sure I had everything I needed.
I had also picked up a couple of paninis while at Clements and when I got home, I served them up immediately. Besides my sleep pattern, the trip to DC really messed up my eating schedule too so at this point, after a bowl of cereal and a bag of trail mix when I woke up, I was starving. I hadn’t eaten an actual meal since Friday night. It had been all snacks on the bus and in the city with the exception of a rest-area convenient store sandwich somewhere in Jersey late Saturday night. I was craving real food, and being in Clements was making me drool. I almost just started eating off their hot buffet with the idea of shoveling their creamy mac and cheese into my mouth like a walker eating brains on The Walking Dead. But I held it together until I got home. My sandwich, their Big Beef Mac panini, was scarfed down in minutes and my hunger was appeased, perhaps overly so. I then sat down to watch the Packers game with Lola and rested. Tiredness was setting in.
At half time, I pushed myself to get up and I made the blondies. It really wasn’t that taxing either. You cream the butter with brown sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla, then your flour mix. When it was incorporated together, I folded in some chocolate chips and then spread it into a pan. It went into the oven for 25 minutes. Took me about fifteen minutes in total to actually make the blondies, so really not hard at all. The batter looked and tasted a lot like cookie dough. Good cookie dough. When the timer went off, I took them out of the oven, and realized they looked like cookies too.
I had followed the instructions and had pulled the blondies from the oven when the edges were brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle came out smoothly. I then left it on a cooling rack and then disappeared into my office to finish up yesterday’s blog entry. The Packers game was a blowout, so I wasn’t missing much, but Lola was keeping her eye on the game and would alert me if anything changed. Lola is a bigger fan of watching football than I am. I may know more about the sport and the people, but she loves watching it. She gets excited and always roots for the underdog. That’s my Lola fun fact for the day.
When I finished and came out to watch the Patriots’ game, I decided it was time to feast on a blondie. I carefully cut into the pan and cut out two squares for us to eat. They were still warm. As soon as I pulled one out of the pan, I realized that they were underdone or that they had not set up enough. Regardless, I was serving them because they just looked so good. The instructions called for me to bake them in a 13″ x 9″ pan, but I thought that would make them too thin, and I like a thicker brownie, so I made them in an 8″ x 8″ pan. I was going to give them more time in the oven, but the toothpick test made it seem like they were done. Also, I added more chocolate chips than they called for in the recipe and I think because they were still warm, that made it especially melty. It wasn’t pretty, but it was tempting.
Barring any bouts of salmonella that we may or may not catch, these blondies were fantastic. They were warm, melty and gooey. As messy as they were (you had to eat them with a fork because you couldn’t pick them up), they were a joy. They really tasted like chocolate chip cookies, but with a cake-like texture. It was like eating warm cookie dough, and to anyone that likes cookie dough, that’s a good thing. In the end, I would call them a delight. They wouldn’t be something I could bring to a party or wrap up and sell, but if you are just enjoying good food watching a game in the comfort of your home, you are not going to find much better. I think that by today they will have firmed up a little more and be a bit more manageable to eat. I am looking forward to doing that later.
I promise I’ll get back to my usual routine here. Just had a bit of a weekend, so trying to recover. I will say that if you are recovering from a long weekend, that feasting on slightly underdone blondies is a pretty nice way to go. It brings comfort food to a whole new level. That’s how I celebrated the blonde brownie today and I think it was fitting. Another positive for all the Patriots’ fans out there: they are undefeated when I make blondies before the game. Maybe I’ll have to make them again in two weeks. I hope I’m rested by then.
Next Up: National Pie Day