Saturday, October 11, 2008

Christmas Cookie Bake-a-long and a Saturday Story

It was my favorite kind of Saturday. I slept late (6:30) and did a little putzing around the house before getting ready head into work, where I worked until 12:30 and then met a friend for lunch and shopping. I bought books and a wreath for my door and ate Chinese food. And I drove home on this absolutely beautiful day with SEC football on the AM radio; I stopped and bought some boiled peanuts from a man sitting on the side of the road. It was Indian Summer done right!

I've been laughing out loud all afternoon about two different incidents.

I was the only person in the building at work this morning. Just me. By my lonesome. And my car was the only vehicle in the parking lot. I had decided it was time to give the office coffee pots a good scrubbing so I was putting them in the back of my car to take home with me when a car pulled into the parking lot behind me (remember...mine is the only car in the lot)and the driver sat there as I opened the door, put my purse in the passenger seat got into the car, buckled up, rolled down the windows, adjusted the A/C, and changed the stations on the radio before putting the car into motion. As I pulled away I saw the gentleman pull forward into the parking place I had just abandoned. Imagine...250 empty parking spaces, and he had to have mine!

Later, my friend and I were at a small Chinese restaurant near the mall catching up over Hot & Spicy soup and fried rice when we heard some shouting going on. We looked around to the bar area and saw the entire staff in bright orange Tennessee T-shirts shouting in a language we didn't understand at the University of Tennessee football team on television. If the expression on the face of the matriarch of the group was any indication, they were not shouting pleasantries but were, in fact, expressing some displeasure with the team's performance. It was the funniest thing I can ever remember seeing. I'm giggling while typing this.

I have fallen behind in the Christmas Cookie Bake-a-long on the CK board and must try to catch up. So last night I made Peanut Butter Blondies.

Peanut Butter Blondies

1 ½ cups All-Purpose flour (7 ½ ounces)
1 teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon Salt
8 Tablespoons Unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1 stick)
1 ½ cups Packed light brown sugar (10 ½ ounces)
2 large Eggs
4 teaspoons Vanilla extract
½ cup Crunchy peanut butter, room temperature
½ cup Peanut butter chips (3 ounces)
¼ cup Roasted, salted peanuts, chopped (1 ¼ ounces)

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with a foil sling and grease the foil.*

Please note my big ol' bottle of home-made vanilla extract...I love that stuff.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the butter and brown sugar together. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until combined. Whisk in the peanut butter until combined. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in the peanut butter chips and peanuts.


3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the blondies until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. (If the toothpick comes away clean, the blondies are overbaked)


4. Let the blondies cool completely in the pan, set on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Remove the blondies from the pan using the foil, cut into squares, and serve.


Chocolate-peanut butter blondies
Although we prefer bittersweet chips here, semisweet chocolate chips can be substituted.
Add 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, with the peanut butter chips in step 2.

I wasn't overwhelmed by this recipe but I don't think it was the recipe. It seems that my local Kroger only stocks the store brand peanut butter chips and not any name brand. I will blame the failure of this recipe, then, on Kroger. Oh, and I didn't make a sling of foil...instead I lined the baking pan with foil and it worked out fine.

Maybe tomorrow afternoon I'll tackle the Triple Ginger Biscotti.


Anonymous said...

Hmm... I would have done something crazy like pull out my mace and "examine it" while staring at the guy trying to take your space. How bizzare! The blondies look great!

Debinhawaii said...

I love blondies. These look great. Very odd about the guy in your parking spot--what a nut!