Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Browned Butter Brown Sugar Toffee Blondies

These blondies are seriously gooey. And I'm unsure if they're supposed to be quiiite this gooey...or if I underbaked them...It doesn't really matter. Either way they are fan-friggin-tastic! Sometimes the messiest things taste the best. True story.
I feel like the color brown gets a bad rep. Brown is a perfectly lovely color. It's the color of my hair. It's the color of my Michael's very lovely eyes (contrary to what he says. I won't repeat what he says to describe the brown color of his eyes). It's the color of most of the delicious things I can imagine. Chocolate? Brown. Toffee? Brown. Browned butter? Brown Sugar? Brown is in the name. And these are some of the tastiest things in life! Annnnnd they are all highlighted in these blondies. Boom! Brown is. da. shiz.
The original name of this recipe was "I <3 Brown Sugar Blondies". And I DO love brown sugar! It's so warm and complex and molasses-y. Ahhh brown sugar....you are the superior sugar. It is true. And these babies have a full THREE CUPS of brown sugar-2 light brown and 1 dark brown. So yeah...you're getting a big punch of that flavor. And...since the recipe had melted butter anyway...and I knew it would only serve to amp up the flavor even more and make these even more mouthwatering...I obviously browned the butter. Which was a good call, btw. Browning the butter added even more nuances and buttery goodness. Toffee is a perfect compliment to the 2, with just a little bit of semisweet chocolate chips in to help add a little something different. And some salt on top helps balance the entire thing. *muah* bellisima!
These blondies are a party on your tastebuds. You bite into a crackly top that gives way to utter gooeyness. Then you just taste everything. Like...you want to have a Homer Simpson "Mmmmm....blondies," moment. I'm literally beginning to salivate just thinking about it. The brown sugar is totally the star but the browned butter merges with the flavor so perfectly you almost can't distinguish between them. And then you get the crunchy bites of toffee and slightly melted pieces of semisweet chocolate (which adds a welcome bit of variety to break up the melding of the other flavors)...and the salt hits your palate to just make all the rest of it taste not too sweet. Like...they're sweet. But not too sweet. Warm and complex. Those are the words for this treat. And WHAT a treat these blondies are. Mmmmm.....blondies.

Browned Butter Brown Sugar Toffee Blondies

Adapted from Amandeleine's I <3 Brown Sugar Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. (or 3 sticks or 24 tbsp.) unsalted butter, browned + extra for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. bag heath toffee bits (with or without chocolate, up to you! Chopped heath bars will also work.)
  • Optional-sea salt or kosher salt, for sprinkling,
Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter a 9"x13" pan then line with parchment paper-allowing a 2 in. overhang on each side.  Butter the lining as well.
  • Measure the sugars into a large, heatproof, bowl.
  • To brown the butter: Melt the butter in a medium-large, preferably light colored, saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk constantly as it foams, bubbles, and eventually small brown bits form and it turns amber. Immediately remove from heat and pour over the sugars. Whisk for a couple minutes, until completely combined and the sugar is somewhat dissolved. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Add eggs and vanilla, whisking until thoroughly incorporated. 
  • Add salt, baking powder, and flour. Slowly mix until a thick batter has formed.
  • Mix in toffee and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, until crackly on top and a skewer inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  • Sprinkle with salt, if using. Let cool completely on a wire rack. 
  • Use the parchment paper overhang to remove from pan and cut into squares. Serve! Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperarure
This is the moment I fully understood how gooey they were going to be.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Individual Baked Mashed Potatoes

Sometimes you need to brainstorm a recipe that you can share on your blog.

Sometimes you have leftover Gruyere cheese and chives that'll die as soon as a frost decides to hit.

Sometimes you're a potato addict.

This recipe is a result of these times.
Life is a smidge crazy around my household currently. Michael has a huge workload to deal with in his new job as a caseworker plus school plus things I ask him to do around the house plus wedding stuff plus a need/obligation to see family and friends.

I suppose it'd be more accurate to say Michael's life is crazy. But...ya know...I'm kinda busy-ish too.
Anyway...

Maybe you're busy too. Maybe you just want some comfort food. Maybe you want flavorful and cheesy potatoes. Maybe you only want a single serving so you can control yourself. Or maybe you already have self-control without having to impose it upon yourself and maybe you're having a dinner party (or...hmmm....Thanksgiving isn't too far awayyyy). Maybe you're having a dinner party and you want a side dish you can make ahead of the time and just put it in the oven when you're ready. Maybe these individual mashed potatoes are as much of a lifesaver for you as they were for me?

Yeah. I thought so.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Something Saturdays (10/25/14)

Have I shown you guys our wedding website yet? If not--here it is!: 

Um....Renee Zellweger legit. looks like a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON???! What the eff?? I've read a lot of articles shaming people for being so obsessed with her different look but....this isn't about her aging or plastic surgery or anything. It's just that...she literally does not look like the same person and I cannot figure out how that happened.

I had another alterations appointment to work on my mom's/my wedding dress and it is really coming along! For the first time I'm feeling really good about it-I am 99% sure that this dress is going to turn out the way I want, now! A bunch of the things I didn't like have been removed and the off-the-shoulder sleeves are looking the way I imagined them. There's still a lot of work to do but I'm super duper excited! Plus Wava, my alterations woman, took a look at my tiara and earrings and said she thought they were perfect! woot!

Aaaaand finally: tomorrow I am SO excited because I'M GOING TO PITTSBURGH TO SEE CARLA (AKA Chocolate Moosey)!!! I'm approx. a 2 hour drive from Pitt and I've been wanting to explore the city, and meet Carla in person, so I'm very excited! But...also nervous. This is my biggest, longest, scariest driving venture I've done so far. Fingers crossed I'm alive to post Monday! :P

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