6 Comments on blondies

I’m slowly emerging from the cave. When last I blogged, I had a truly depressing homecoming from a week of travel on business. Since then, I came down with the black plague as a result of that trip. Airplanes are a germ vector, second only to children. I had three days of shivering chills, followed by several days of “merely” a cold with coughing and congestion. There was a four-day span where the smell of food was making me nauseous (or nauseated, for the pedants among my readership), during which I managed to eat some dry toast or ramen noodles with no flavoring. On the plus side, my belt is on its last (first?) notch and still isn’t small enough. I’m sure that won’t last.

The food revulsion finally snapped yesterday. I made a garlic-potato soup from the latest Cook’s Ill. I intentionally halved the amount of garlic, and it was still fairly overwhelming for a weak stomach, but it worked. That’s definitely a keeper recipe, a good autumn/winter soup. Then, just to make a girl happy (since I managed to share my illness with her), I made a pan of blondies. I’ve never had these before, and I made a number of questionable changes to the recipe. Did you know white chocolate is essentially pure cocoa butter (plus sugar)? It’s chocolate, with all of the cocoa extracted. Ick. No wonder I’ve never cared for white chocolate. So, I dropped the white chocolate and replaced it with dark bittersweet chocolate. And I used dark brown sugar instead of light. And I dropped the nuts from the recipe.(1)

Essentially, I ended up with bars of chocolate chip cookies. Which, all things considered, isn’t that bad. More like “brunetties” than blondies. I’m not worried about whether they will all be eaten. 🙂


(1) Did I mention I also had an unplanned dentist visit to deal with a broken tooth? I swear, I’m falling apart at the seams. Or am I just unseemly?

6 thoughts on “blondies

  1. yoopie

    I can certainly sympathize will air travel being second to children as far as the germ factor. I fly every 2 months to D.C. and I have yet to NOT pick up some respiratory infection to some varying degree. I have HAD enough of that so I am going to try that “Airborne” stuff and see if that helps/works. I will be sure to let you know if it does help at all.

    You should post these recipe’s somewhere…as they both sound the YUM and yeah I have never liked white chocolate myself…the darker the chocolate, the better (in my opinion).

    I do hope you are feeling is uncanny how much I can relate to the illness and flying bit…truly I had the worst case of flu/whatever back in October of 2006 and I blamed it on my nieces/nephews but have realized it has got to be the flying that does it to me.

  2. oregongirl

    Hope you’re on the mend! I can certainly understand about falling apart. There seems to be a lot of that going on around here, too.

    Both the garlic-potato soup and the not=sp=blonde blondies sound delicious! I’d love to have the recipes… Could you post them when you’re feeling better? Please? 🙂

    Take care and I hope that you can shake this thing soon.

  3. browse Post author

    Brunetti recipe

    Blondies, Cook’s Illustrated, 07/2005
    (altered by browse by removing nuts and white chocolate, doubling down on dark chocolate)

    Note: Be very careful not to overbake the blondies; they dry out easily and will turn hard. Start checking the oven a couple of minutes before they will be done.

    Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350° F.

    Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet (if using extra-wide foil, fold second sheet lengthwise to 12-inch width). Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together …
       1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
       1 teaspoon baking powder
       1/2 teaspoon table salt

    In a separate medium bowl, whisk together …
       12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled
       1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
       2 large eggs, lightly beaten
       4 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in …
       6 ounces dark chocolate chips

    Turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.

    Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes; do not overbake. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan by lifting foil overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

  4. browse Post author

    Garlic-Potato Soup recipe

    Garlic-Potato Soup, Cooks Illustrated, 03/2007
    (altered by browse, to halve the garlic)
    time: 1.5 hours
    serves 6 As a main course

    Note: A garnish to add crunch and flavor to this soup is a nice touch. Garlic chips, crisp bacon bits, fried leeks, or garlic croutons are good options, too.

    In a Dutch oven over medium heat, meal…
       3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    When foaming subsides, add …
       1 medium leek, chopped small (about one cup)
          white and light green parts
          halve lengthwise, rinse between layers, then chop
    Cook until soft (do not brown), 5 to 8 minutes. Add …
       3 medium cloves garlic, minced
    Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add …
       6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
       1 head garlic, rinsed
          papery skins removed, top third of head cut off and discarded
       2 bay leaves
       3/4 teaspoon table salt
    Partially cover pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until garlic is very tender when pierced with tip of knife, 30 to 40 minutes.

    Add …
       1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (~2 large)
          peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 1/2 cups)
       1 pound Red Bliss potatoes (~3 medium)
          (unpeeled), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
    Continue to simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Discard bay leaves. Remove garlic heads; using tongs or paper towels, squeeze garlic heads at root end until cloves slip out of their skins. Using fork, mash garlic to smooth paste in bowl.

    Add to Dutch oven …
       1/2 cup heavy cream
       1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
       1/2 of the mashed garlic paste

    Taste soup; add remaining garlic paste if desired, salt and/or pepper.

    Transfer 1 1/2 cups potatoes and 1 cup broth to blender or food processor and process until smooth. Return puree to pot and stir to combine, adjusting consistency with more broth if necessary.

    Serve with a garnish of any of the below:
       1/4 cup minced fresh chives
       1/4 cup bacon crumbs
       1/4 cup garlic chips
       1/4 cup garlic croutons

  5. mmelgoza


    Greetings, sir. You probably don’t remember me, but I thought I’d say hello, nevertheless. (I’m Theseus from #macintosh.)

    Glad to hear you’re feeling at least a bit better. I’ll have to give your brunetti recipe a shot. Take care…


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