Category Archives: baking

Springtime Happiness Cookie Cake

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Yesterday I walked all the way from Beacon Hill to Fort Point Channel to the Public Garden (that’s like, all of Boston) without. wearing. a coat.

Do you know what this means??? SPRING HAS SPRUNG.

#happydance

DSC_0171#happydance #happydance

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#HAPPYDANCE

So full of happy, in fact, that I finally concluded my blogging hiatus, dusted off my sprinkle cabinet, and baked you a giant cookie! So many colors! So much happy!

I know I’m like every other person in the world when I say I didn’t know I was in a deep dark cold-weather depression until I finally felt the warmth of the sun, but really? Can we ever talk about it enough? SPRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING. Blue skies and birds chirping! Colorful flowers and leaves on trees! NO MORE MITTENS!

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Also #happydance-inducing?? I baked this cookie using coconut oil instead of butter and it is reeeeal good. And there are rainbow sprinkles inside. Doo-dee-doo-dee-dooooo.

DSC_0158Springtime Happiness Cookie Cake (adapted from this cookie pie)

yield: one 9-inch cookie cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or unsalted butter) at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate M&Ms (or semisweet chocolate chips)
  • A handful of sprinkles, if you’re feeling extra happy

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease (or coat with cooking spray) a 9-inch* round cake pan. In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil and brown sugar together until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until fully combined.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir on low until the ingredients just come together; add 3/4 of the M&Ms and sprinkles and stir until incorporated.
  3. Press the dough into the greased pan. Top with remaining 1/4 cup M&Ms. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Cool completely** on a wire rack, then remove from the pan and serve.

*You can use an 8-inch or 10-inch cake pan, whatever you have on hand. Just adjust the time by a few minutes (longer bake time for 8-inch, shorter for 10-inch) to account for the different size.

**Or.. don’t let it cool, top it with vanilla ice cream, and eat it straight from the pan. ;)

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

DSC_0180Lately I’ve been having tons of food revelations.

It started with kale chips. I’m pretty sure I’m the last being on earth to hop on the kale chip train. Like, WHAT have I been waiting for???? Kale chips are like eating air!!! Delicious, nutritious, super crispy air. I want kale chips all day every day UNTIL THE END OF TIME. Please remind me of this the next time I start resisting a trend.DSC_0168DSC_0154

Next: hard-boiled eggs. Umm…yeah. I really don’t have an excuse. I think I thought they weren’t good so I never bothered trying them but…WHY?! They make my salad 2352353262 bajillion times better! And more filling! Eggs!

Aside: I’ve decided I want to get chickens! We’ll talk about this later.

And speaking of salads… my sister recently introduced me to fresh peas on my salads. HELLO. I love how they *pop!* when you bite into them. The last time I ate peas I was 10 and had been pushing them around my plate for at least 2 hours, refusing to eat the one last bite that would release me from the dinner table. What was I thinking???? Peas! Duh! Yum!

Um, also? Lentils. I want to knock myself over the head. LENTILS ARE MAD YUMMY AND GOOD FOR YOU, MELANIE. WAKE UP. Cooked in a little vegetable broth and served with cous cous? Eeeeeattmeee.DSC_0153

And finally….baking without flour. Who knew it was possible? I certainly did NOT. I always thought the rules of baking were:

  1. Butter
  2. Sugar
  3. Eggs
  4. Flour
  5. Vanilla

So it came as a total surprise when I decided to bake cookies sans rule #4 and they came out AMAZINGLY.

W-O-W. Chewy ooey gooey melty goodness.

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Have you had any food revelations? What other delicious things am I missing out on??!

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted very lightly from Martha Stewart)

yield: about 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chunky unsalted peanut butter (you could also use smooth or honey roasted, but I liked the texture of chunky PB best)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla on medium until smooth. Stir in the baking soda and salt until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Roll the dough into balls, one heaping tablespoon* at a time. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Don’t let them overcook – you want them to be a bit gooey inside! Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

*I wanted my cookies to be a bit bigger so I made roughly 1 1/2-2 tablespoon balls of dough. If you do this, make sure to add about a minute of baking time.

Mini Easter Cupcakes

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MINI EASTER BASKET CUPCAKES. Do you see that mini mini mini mini chocolate bun? DO YOU SEE IT??? I’m freaking out. Cute overload.

True life confession: I go into CVS/Walgreens every other day to look at the Easter candy display and I AM NOT ASHAMED. It’s something about the pastels and the 75 different kinds of marshmallow/caramel/coconut eggs and the cute bunnies and alllllllll thaaaat chooooocolate that makes me want to hippity hop for joy.

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So you can bet your bottom dollar that when I saw a bag of teeny chocolate bunnies while waiting in line to check out at Walgreens I literally had to restrain myself from yelling with glee. So teeny-tiny! So itty-bittyl! So perfect for perching atop a mini Easter cupcake!

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I must know: what’s your favorite kind of Easter candy? Are you a jellybean or chocolate kinda person? And what are your thoughts on PEEPS?! (It probably goes without saying but: love, love, love. Especially stale.)DSC_0173

DSC_0193Note: you could really make any kind of cupcakes, since the toppings/decorations are the most important part, but I went with banana + greek yogurt cupcakes since I had an extra-ripe banana lying around!

Mini Banana Greek Yogurt Cupcakes

yield: 24 mini cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 large overripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin tin with 24 paper liners. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the mashed banana, oil, greek yogurt, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat on low (or fold with a rubber spatula) until just combined.
  2. Divide the batter evenly among the paper liners. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  3. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack. Top with your favorite buttercream or frosting, then dip in sweetened shredded coconut that has been mixed with green food coloring. Add jellybeans and mini chocolate bunnies (if you can find them!) to the center.

Triple Chocolate Baked Donuts

DSC_0005Yesterday in first grade we talked about using body language to show emotions. We talked about how crossing your arms means you’re probably angry or frustrated (Melanie on a sugar cleanse), head down means you’re probably sad or embarrassed (Melanie when she tries to dognap a puppy and the owner catches her), rolling your eyes means you’re probably annoyed (Melanie when she runs out of sprinkles), and eyes + mouth wide open means you’re probably surprised (Melanie when she discovers a new item at Trader Joe’s).

DSC_0033We also agreed that smiling probably means you’re happy (Melanie when she sees donuts).

Unless you have 75 stages of happiness – beginning with a smile and ending with a happy dance – in which case you’re forced to create a body-language-as-related-to-donuts taxonomy…

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Smiling THIS BIG (Melanie when she sees chocolate donuts).

Smiling THIS BIG while jumping up and down (Melanie when she sees chocolate donuts dipped in chocolate glaze).

Smiling THIS BIG while jumping up and down and flailing your hands in the air (Melanie when she sees chocolate donuts dipped in chocolate glaze stuffed with chocolate chips).

Smiling THIS BIG while jumping up and down and flailing your hands in the air and occasionally fist pumping (Melanie when she sees chocolate donuts dipped in chocolate glaze stuffed with chocolate chips covered in rainbow sprinkles).

Smiling THIS BIG while jumping up and down and flailing your hands in the air and occasionally fist pumping and twirling (Melanie when she sees chocolate donuts dipped in chocolate glaze stuffed with chocolate chips covered in rainbow sprinkles on the first sunny and warm day in 4 months (!!!!!))

#happydance #happydance #happydance

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So…what makes YOU do a happy dance? And is it as *ahem* expressive as mine?

Triple Chocolate Baked Donuts (adapted very slightly from Shutterbean)

yield: about 9

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips or chunks

Note: the original recipe yields 6 donuts, but I ended up with 10, probably due to the addition of chocolate chunks and how I filled my donut pan with batter.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat a donut pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate, smaller bowl, stir to combine the buttermilk, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the ingredients together. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  2. Transfer the batter to a large (don’t try to use a small bag! Batter explosion!) ziploc bag; snip off a corner and seal shut. Use the bag to pipe the batter into the donut pan, filling each well about 1/2-2/3 full (I err on the side of 1/2 full). Be careful not to overfill as the donuts expand quite a bit. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the donut tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool completely on a wire rack. Top with chocolate glaze (recipe below).

Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the microwave or in a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Dip the donuts in and twirl slightly to coat; top with sprinkles if you please!

Homemade Cayenne-Cheddar Bread

DSC_0045Remember when Mike and I went on a Cambridge eating tour adventure and I haven’t been able to stop talking about it? Well, heeere we go again.

On our last stop at The Friendly Toast (and any/every time I go there), I ordered a side of their homemade Cayenne-Cheddar bread. They grill it up with some butter and HOLY COW IT IS SO GOOD. Just enough cayenne spice to give it a good kick, with little pockets of melty cheese* throughout. After ordering it at least 14 times, I decided it’s finally time to try and create it myself!

DSC_0017Listen up, friends..

This bread is the BOMB DIGGITY.

DSC_0006PerHAPS the most delicious bread I’ve ever baked. It is soooo so (so so so so so so so SO so so) good, almost as good as the professionals make it. It’s the kind of bread that is so delicious that you don’t even need anything on top, though butter makes everything better ;)

And, just a thought…using this to make grilled cheese? WHOAAAAAAA. Mike and I gobbled up the whole loaf too quickly to do so, but I bet it would be the most wonderful grilled cheese in all the land.

*I realized I only had about half the amount of cheese I needed when baking this bread, which is why the bread doesn’t seem cheesy in the pictures – though still totally delicious. Adding the full amount will give you those ooooozy melty cheesy pockets of happiness I mentioned above.

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Cayenne-Cheddar Bread (adapted from Williams-Sonoma‘s Whole Wheat Bread recipe, idea from The Friendly Toast)

yield: one loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups* white or whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons quick-rise yeast (about half a package)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese

*The original recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups white/whole-wheat flour, but I only ended up using about 1 3/4 cups. You should add as much flour as you need to make the dough hold together until it stops being sticky.

Directions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the white or whole-wheat flour and 1 1/4 cups bread flour. In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 cup of flour mixture, salt, yeast, and cayenne pepper. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water, milk, honey, and butter. Heat on low until lukewarm (110 degrees F). Stir the water/milk mixture into the yeast mixture and beat on medium-high until smooth. Add the cheese, then stir in more of the flour mixture until the dough comes together and stops sticking to the sides of the bowl. If you add a bit too much flour, you can always add a teaspoon of water to bring the dough back together.
  2. At this point, you can either kneed the dough by hand or use the dough hook attachment. Need until smooth and elastic, either 10 minutes by hand or 6-7 minutes with the dough hook. Form the dough into a ball and place in a clean, greased bowl (I greased mine with olive oil), turning the dough to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Coat a 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and press flat; use a rolling pin to roll into a roughly 12-by-7-inch rectangle. Starting on a short side, roll the dough up tightly and pinch the bottom and side seams to seal. Place the dough into the prepared pan, seam side down. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Bake the loaf for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

*one final note: the original recipe says to brush the loaf with an egg wash (1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water), but I was out of eggs so I skipped that step. It doesn’t change the flavor much, but does make the loaf look prettier!

A Teeny-Tiny Batch of Eensy-Weensy Chocolate Chip Cookies


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I will never be someone who can eat just one cookie. Some people (i.e. those with self-control) can do it. Me? If I have one cookie, I want fifteen more just like it. On the other hand, I like the idea of a portion-controlled single-serving cookie, à la those “giant cookie[s] for one” that I see all over the blogworld. So I decided to combine portion control + my love of multiple (multiplemultiple) cookies and figured out the measurements for a teeny-tiny batch of eensy-weensy cookies.

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image_5These are perfect for any time life calls for a tiny batch of cookies. Like when you MUST HAVE some fresh-from-the-oven goodies but you don’t want to make a normal-sized batch and accidentally-on-purpose eat two dozen. Or when you’ve had a long Tuesday and want to drown your sorrows in warm chocolate chip cookies but you only have ten minutes and two tablespoons of butter and one bowl. Because that’s all you NEED for these, yo.

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And…THEY ARE JUST SO DARN CUTE. They fill me with happiness. Ideal happy Melanie moment: dancing around my kitchen to this song wearing a high pony munching on a batch of teeny tiny eensy weensy adorable-beyond-words cookies. On vacation. And there are sprinkles somewhere close by. And it’s sunny outside. And Mike comes home early from work and makes me dinner. It’s grilled cheese. And he brings a puppy. It’s going to be mine-all-mine and I name it….

image_3…I’m getting ahead of myself. I just can’t even handle the cuteness. There’s something about miniature baked goods that make me do a happy dance. Like, each cookie is ONE TEASPOON of dough. Cutie cute cute cute cute CUUUUUUTE.

image_2imageA Teeny-Tiny Batch of Eensy-Weensy Chocolate Chip Cookies

yield: 18-20 teeny tiny cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned (or melted) and cooled slightly
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons egg*
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8 cup mini chocolate chips

*note: to get 2 teaspoons of egg, crack an egg into a bowl, beat it with a fork, and measure out 2 teaspoons

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk the slightly cooled butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla. Add the egg and whisk until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake for four minutes (watch carefully, these bake quickly!!), then place on a wire rack to cool.

Honey Pistachio Muffins

DSC_0007I have irrational fears. Like, a lot of them.  Perhaps the most irrational of them all is the belief that the girl from the Sixth Sense lives under my bed. I’ve checked (physically) and know (rationally) that underneath my bed is full of storage and bags and there’s no way a creepy dead girl could fit, much less LIVE under there. But that CERTAINLY does not stop me from leaping into bed from five feet away so she (imaginary creepy dead girl) won’t be able to reach my ankles to grab them. M. Night Shyamalan, thank you for ruining my life.

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Additionally, I’m scared that every time I stub my baby toe I’m going to lose my toe nail. (This happened to me last week and NO I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.)

And any time anyone gets hit in the eye and they cover their face like “Ouuuuch Charlie!“, I’m convinced that when they uncover it their eyeball is going to be GONE. Vanished. (Who has two thumbs and is passionately irrational? This girl.)

I’m also worried that I will forget my keys and/or forget to lock the door and someone will break in and murder me. (This fear was newly exacerbated when Mike couldn’t find his keys one morning only to discover them IN THE DOOR. ON THE OUTSIDE. WHERE THEY HAD BEEN ALL NIGHT.)

Finally, I fear that I will never own a puppy. (Just kidding. Threw that one in for comic relief. Obviously it’s only a matter of time.)

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Awhile back I heard someone use the term “sugar tumors”* and [(ir)rationally] convinced myself I was growing at least 17 and decided to back off the sugar for awhile**.

*It’s also possible that I made this term up in my own head.

**Read: Four days.

Despite the sometimes-breaks from sugar, I recently realized that I’ve never actually made a baked treat with minimal/no added sugar (to me this means granulated or cane sugar) and set off to make a baked good sweetened only with honey. And honey pistachio muffins were born!

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WOW-za. Revelation! First of all, I totally do not feel guilty eating these muffins for breakfast because, hello! Barely any sugar. They are just a little bit sweet, almost to the point of savory. And the batter? DEEEEEEEE-lish. Also perfection served warm with a little drizzle of honey.

DSC_0042Honey Pistachio Muffins (adapted from Scarletta Bakes)

yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1/2 cup honey (use the good stuff, it’s worth it!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, finely ground*
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped

*Note: Use a food processor to grind the pistachios until they are the texture/size of coffee grounds.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk oil and honey until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground pistachios.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the oil/honey/egg mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk (so you should add some flour mixture, mix, half the buttermilk, mix, flour mixture, mix, the rest of the buttermilk, mix, the rest of the flour mixture). Stir until just combined; do not overmix!
  4. Divide the batter equally among the muffin tin, filling each liner about 2/3 of the way. Sprinkle the finely chopped pistachios onto the tops of the muffin batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Homemade Snickers Cookie Bars

image_3I have a serious case of writer’s block, so instead of a typical blog post, here’s a list of random thoughts that are swimming around inside my head. And some delicious pictures of homemade Snicker-meets-Twix-cookie-bar-thingies (Mike suggested I call them Snix?). Enjoy!
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Babylandia. Beyonce. Destiny’s Child reunion. Blue Ivy (where IS she these days???)

French onion soup in a crock pot (THIS IS NOT GOOD.)

Snow day (when the heck are we going to get one?)

First cold in 2 years (waaaaaaaaaah.)

Parenthood (recently discovered, now addicted.)

Last week’s episode of New Girl (say WHAAAAAT?!)

Thinking of getting rid of cable (say WHAAAT?!)

Babylandia (want to move there.)

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Enchiladas.

Valentine’s candy.

Homemade caramel. Peanuts. Shortbread. Chocolate.

Yum.
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Snickers Cookie Bars (otherwise known as Snix)

yield: about 24, depending on what size you cut them

Shortbread Cookie Layer (recipe adapted from alli ‘n sons)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar on high until fluffy. Add vanilla; blend well.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir in flour and salt on medium until combined.  Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are just golden brown.  Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before topping with caramel/peanut layer.

Caramel and Peanut Layer (recipe adapted from Ina Garten)

  • 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  •  2 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Sprinkle the peanuts over the cooled shortbread. In a deep saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Bring to a boil and cook the sugar, swirling the pan (don’t stir!) until the mixture has reached a deep amber color.  Watch it carefully, as it happens fast.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, bring the cream, butter, and salt to a simmer.  Remove from heat.

When the sugar is done, remove from heat and pour in the cream+butter.  Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon.  Cook over medium-low heat until it registers 244 degrees (just above “soft ball”) on a candy thermometer.  Immediately remove from heat and pour over the cooled shortbread.  Allow the shortbread and caramel to cool for 2-3 hours, until firm.

Chocolate Layer

  • 1 cup milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening

In a microwave-safe bowl or a double boiler, melt chocolate and shortening, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.

Spread the melted chocolate over the cooled caramel. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to allow the chocolate to firm up.  When the chocolate has hardened, remove from the pan and cut into squares. Store and serve at room temperature.

Butterscotch Blondies

image_2True confession: for the first three four five months that I knew Mike (pre-Facebook-official dating status), I stalked him.

I knew that if I left my class exactly at 10:05 and walked down a certain hallway at a certain speed, we would likely cross paths. I knew where he ate lunch and where he got picked up to go to sailing practice. I knew his favorite library to study in.

(This is the stuff Lifetime movies are made of.)

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In fact, I knew his favorite chair in his favorite library. And I would sit directly behind it.

(I AM THE CREEPIEST CREEP.)

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I would sit in that chair acting all indifferent like, Ohhhh…hey. You study at this library too? That’s cool I guess. 

And I would wait until he finished his studying and was packing up and super casually be like, Ohhh, are you leaving too? Wanna walk together? Can I carry your books? I know where you live.

You cannot make this stuff up.

While I was putting in long hours stalking (studying! I was studying.) at the library, I would get these amaaaaaazing butterscotch blondies from the library cafe. They were so dense and chewy and buttery and I easily ate one (or five) every day.

imageFlash forward six years, and I’m recreating the blondies in our kitchen. I give one to Mike to try and he’s like WHAT ARE THESE THIS IS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER EATEN DO NOT SHARE THEM WITH ANYONE EVER I LOOOOOOVE YOU.

OH, so all I really had to do to win your love was hand you a butterscotch blondie?? The very butterscotch blondie I was chomping on THE ENTIRE TIME I STALKED YOU???

Irony, people. This. Is. Irony.

image_3If you’ve learned anything from me today, let it be this: if you ever find yourself in a stalking situation, don’t forget to bring baked goods.

Also? These blondies really are SO SO SO SO YUMMY DON’T SHARE THEM WITH ANYONE I LOOOOOVE YOU.

Butterscotch Blondies (adapted from Martha Stewart)

yield: about 16

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, browned and cooled
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8×8-inch pan with cooking spray (I line my pan with tinfoil before coating it with cooking spray for extra-easy removal).
  2. In a small pan, brown your butter. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and allow it to cool until it is warm to the touch. Whisk in the brown sugar, then add the egg and vanilla and whisk until smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, salt, and butterscotch chips until combined.
  3. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t over bake these, you want them to be a bit gooey inside! Allow to cool fully on a wire rack, then remove from the pan and cut into squares.