Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hey, Blondie!

My quick go-to recipe for a sweet treat is always brownies. Always. You can't beat a warm brownie right out of the oven. Maybe with a little vanilla ice cream? But for the same amount of ingredients (if you don't count the nuts and chips), you can make blondies, essentially a quicker version of chocolate chip cookies but with a richer butterscotch flavor. Try it. I bake a lot and was recently told that it was the best thing I ever made. I'm not so sure about that, but I'll take it!

Blondies with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts
Adapted from Martha Stewart

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with butter.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour and salt. Mix just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in 1/2 cup each chocolate chips and walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and walnuts.

3. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Story

It's Christmas Eve ya'll! Time to get ready for 24 hours of A Christmas Story! TBS gives us all a gift that we don't have to wait until Christmas morning to open, starting at 8:00 pm tonight. And BTW, did you know that you can even visit Ralphie's house?!? You're welcome. Since I won't be in Cleveland to experience it in person, I will be hunkered down in front of my TV laughing at Ralphie dressed as a deranged Easter Bunny, scarfing down the last of my holiday cookies (not soap!).

If you need a last minute cookie recipe, try these oatmeal lace cookies, one of my mom's faves. They're great because you don't need that many ingredients and you can whip them up in, like, 15 minutes (including baking time). You'll end up with an impressive crisp, delicious cookie that may also be quite fragile. FRA-GEE-LAY. Must be Italian.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Stir to combine.

2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat). Drop the batter, one scant teaspoon at a time, leaving 3 inches between cookies. Bake for 5 - 7 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely before removing from sheets. Makes 24 cookies.