When I was growing up, we spent our spring breaks visiting my relatives on the Gulf Coast, in Mississippi. It was nice for my parents because we could drive there, saving on transportation for a family of 6, and our lodging was free. For us kids it was paradise because our spring break did not coincide with the Mississippi spring break (plus to them it was probably cool still whereas to us Northerners it was hot), so we had entire islands to ourselves. Literally. We would ride out on my uncle’s boat to islands several miles long without a single other soul on them. We’d build a bonfire and cook hotdogs and S’Mores, and I for one never knew what was more fun: the time on the island or the time spent on the boat getting to and from the island. And all of us kids swore we would own boats when we got older.
Only one of us has followed through on that: my brother Chris. Alex has been making noises about wanting to ride on a boat, so we are meeting him at a lake that is not exactly inbetween us, but at least a shorter drive for both of us than one of us actually driving to the other, and going boating. We are in charge of food, which because I spent all day making green curry I kept it on the simple side and actually indulged my fondness for hotdogs (he is bringing a grill) and potato chips with dip (and since I am in charge we got Ruffles–are you a Ruffles person or a Lays person? When you’re talking dip it MUST be Ruffles to my mind). I blanched some green beans as well, so we don’t feel too unhealthy. And I made these Dorie Greenspan Peanuttiest Blondies.
For a standby blondie recipe, this will not supplant the America’s Test Kitchen recipe I have posted about before. For one thing, they rose around the edges a little too much, causing the middle pieces to be coveted and the outer pieces a little shunned. But, if you are baking for someone who pretty much only eats chocolate chip cookies (and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies) and you want to try something a little different, these are perfectly fine.
On a whim, I used Hershey’s Candy Coated Miniature Kisses for baking just to amuse the kids. I cannot say it was the best decision ever, as they seem to have melted into blurry colored blobs, but they have amused the kids and that is what counts I guess.
1 cup AP flour (126 g)
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt (I accidentally used 1/2 t to no harm)
1/2 t cinnamon (I used only a dash)
1/2 cup peanut butter, not natural (she prefers crunchy, I like smooth)
5 T unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 t vanilla (I used 1 t)
1 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
6 oz coarsely chopped milk chocolate or semi sweet chips (I used Hershey’s Candy Coated Miniature Kisses for baking)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 inch square baking pan with non stick spray and line with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
Cream the peanut butter and butter together until smooth. Add the white sugar and then the brown sugar and continue creaming. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each egg goes in. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients. Add the nuts and chocolate, finishing by folding by hand. Do not over stir. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and smooth it out.
Bake the blondies for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Check halfway through–you may need to cover the pan with foil if the blondies are browning too fast (mine were).
Cool the blondies completely before removing from the pan and slicing.