Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brewer's Blondies and Sister Time

Mmm, tasty...
The sucky part about being in school is finals. I hate the pressure of knowing that I will be tested on what I've learned. I also hate the period of time between the last lecture and the final, because it means that any minute not spent working or sleeping should be spent studying. But why study when you can bake something totally awesome?

Let me let you in on a little secret. Maybe it's not a secret. I love that I have some mad baking skills. If I were a man, I would marry me for my super-duper chocolate cookies alone. My Swedish friend once offered to marry me because she liked my pancakes, but we knew that that would just never work out. But at the end of the day, whatever kind of day it happens to be, I can make myself something pretty damn tasty. And it makes me smile, which is all that matters, right?

So anyway, today I should have studied for finals. I kind of did. Reading the take-home exam counts, right? Hey, I started brainstorming too, so I got that far at least. And I opened my textbook to look up sexual harassment (it's employment law, and it's kind of a big deal). So I did something. Unfortunately, I find it really hard to focus when I have absolutely no baked goods or sweets in my apartment. Solution: go to the store, buy things, and then come home and bake. But....I also wanted some sister time.

I never really say it, but I think my sister is pretty rad. Perhaps some of it is that we're a lot alike. Whenever someone who knows one of us meets the other of us, they remark on how alike we are. We're both goofy, opinionated, theatrical and we like to boogie. And we both bake. A badass duo, if you will.

So I had sister Frakah come over to bake blondies with me. We tried listening to Enrique (Iglesias, who we simply refer to as Enrique), but ended up with crappy Marc Anthony (thanks, Pandora). Then we tried for George Michael but wound up with a crappy song that had me imagining myself in a long flowy dress on a yacht at sunset in the 80s. Yech. So it was time for a movie.

Frakah and I have a few fallbacks that we tend to watch together, and today it was time to watch Practical Magic, a perfectly appropriate sister-time movie. About five minutes into the movie, I realized it would be a lot funnier with midnight margaritas (in the movie, they have midnight margaritas, but I think you should be able to have midnight margaritas whenever you like). Then, we realized there were many changes we would like to make to the movie- a midnight margaritas scene every five minutes, replace makeout scenes with someone ribbon-dancing in a meadow to sappy music, and add a psychedelic element to the big midnight margaritas scene. Our new dream is to create our own feature-length reenactment of this movie, with said changes.

What does this have to do with blondies? I don't know, just that we enjoyed the fresh, warm blondies as we watched the movie. The main reason I decided on baking these blondies today is that the recipe says you get to enjoy them warm- you only have to cool them for twenty minutes before cutting into them. I served these yummy guys with some milk chocolate ice cream, which was not a bad idea at all. Not a bad evening at all.

A thick, gooey mess
 Brewer's Blondies
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp malted milk powder (I used Ovaltine)
14 tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 3/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 lrg eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup malted milk balls (Whoppers), coarsely broken by blunt force (see note)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and malted milk powder together.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until combined.

Spreading the love...
Add the flour mixture in two batches and beat until just combined. Add the malted milk balls and chocolate chips and stir with a spatula until just combined. The mixture will be thick. Turn the mixture out into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly.

Bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the blondie comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. These blondies taste pretty frickin' fantastic warm.

Note: The recipe tells you to chop the Whoppers in a food processor, but mine was dirty, so I improvised. I put the Whoppers in a freezer baggie, sealed the baggie, and beat the hell out of the Whoppers with a big silver spoon. It felt really good. :)


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