Cupid Came Early

valentine blondies

This is a rare sight to behold.  A post about a holiday before the holiday.  Last year, I was able to do that with Valentine’s too.  It must be a sure sign of what I refer to as the Minnesota Winter Doldrums.  Symptoms include but are not limited to:  frequent hand lotion application, requirement of boots, hats, mittens, scarves, and puffy jackets just to step outside, dreams of tropical destinations, along with abrupt and fascinating addiction to The Vampire Diaries. {I may or may not be willing to admit to having devoured three seasons in three weeks.} *gasp*

I wanted to share a sweet treat with you, considering that you too may have a bit of time on your hands, avoiding the wind chill and suffering from similar MWD complications.

I tried a new recipe for blondies and graced them with some gorgeous red, pink and white M & M’s in honor of the upcoming holiday.  Nothing fancy but definitely on the yummy side.

Brown Sugar Blondies
from Baked Perfection

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup to 1 1/3 cup M&M’s

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.  Melt 1/3 cup butter.  Add 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and mix well.  Cool slightly.  Add egg (beaten) and vanilla and blend well.  Add flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing well.  Mix in 2/3 cup M&M’s.  Spread in 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Sprinkle 1/3 to 2/3 cup M&M’s on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

P.S.  These may also give you a bit “extra” for the hibernation period so go do some jumping jacks for each bar consumed.  Or not.

P.P.S.  Did you notice that I photographed a corner piece?  *Love.*  *Favorite.*  *Best.*

Blondies

Do you ever just get the hankering for a sweet?  I mean, an easy sweet.  One that takes little or no time to make yet tastes delicious and satisfies your need for sweet?  I was looking for such a sweet today and found this delightful recipe on Smitten Kitchen.  I had to make it.  Had to.  It took all of ten minutes.  Plus, twenty minutes while it baked in the oven.  Then, all of my restraint not to eat within one minute of release from the oven.  Of course, I did try.  Had to use a fork.  Almost burned my mouth.  Once these cooled and I cut them and put them on a platter, no fork necessary.  Oh, my!  Hankering solved.

Blondie Recipe

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

  1. Butter an 8×8 pan
  2. Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
  3. Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions (below).
  4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle.

Further additions, use one or a combination of:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts, toasting them first for even better flavor
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips (and/or butterscotch chips, etc)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract in addition to or in place of the vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup bourbon, scotch or other whiskey; increase the flour by one tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons of espresso powder with the vanilla
  • Stir 1/2 cup dried fruit, especially dried cherries, into the prepared batter
  • Top with a vanilla butter cream or chocolate peanut butter cream frosting