Even though I should be eating healthier
My apologies for being absent for a short while. In complete honesty, I have been dealing with a few issues lately. One of the problems bugging me has been my eating habits and health. The new year does that for many of us. Whether we want to or not. We get bombarded by so many health resolutions that we get caught in the midst of it all. Lost as to what our course of action will be.
Right at the end of 2019, my boyfriend Craig proposed to me. I guess, until May, I will refer to him as my fiance, ha-ha. When Craig asked me to marry him, a few things immediately started to happen. First, I panicked, so much to do in such little time, and I am not the most organized person. The wedding will be at the end of May. With work, family, and the blog, time is of the essence and scarce, so planning a wedding as exciting and it may be, it sounded like a daunting task. . . .
Road Blocks to Fluidity
First things first, the dress. The quest for the dress ignited more frustration on my eating and exercise habits. I finally understand all the frustration brides go through to fit in their dream dress. Fortunately, I do not have such a dream dress, so my focus geared towards the dress that made me feel pretty, elegant, and foremost comfortable. Still, I have the pressure of losing a few pounds before the fitting in April.
The other issue blocking me from writing has been the blog itself. As I take on this new adventure of blogging, I learn from different sources the importance of a niche. A niche calls out a specific audience towards your blog. If I am now considering changing my lifestyle, how then I compensate for my previous posts or even this post on blondies? Do I write about clean eating/Whole food-plant based? Do I follow a trend for the sake of acquiring readers? These have been questions far more compelling than writer's block.
On the topic of the blog as my block, self-doubt hit me hard right at the end of the year. Am I good enough? I don't have a well-defined niche. What if no one finds me amongst the million different food blogs out there? Again, do I follow a trend for the sake of acquiring readers? What if I follow the trend, and I struggle to stick to it? Luckily, I think I found the answer. Thanks to my friend Sheryl, who started attending one of my yoga classes. Yes, I do teach yoga as well. Sheryl said, and I am not quoting her word per word, but she mentioned, because I am not your "typical" yogi, slender and graceful, I make it my class that much more approachable to people and less intimidating.
What would happen if I were to take this idea and use it for my blog? The truth of the matter is that I am human and not perfect. I will go through my health needs as we all have to go through them at different times of our lives. At this point in my life, I am transitioning from eating carefree to eating more mindfully. Yes, I have not forgotten this post is about THE BEST BLONDIES EVER!!! But I am not writing about eating the whole pan of blondies either. I guess the key for me would be to write about the balance of loving to eat, almost anything and everything while cooking foods that will help Craig and I reach our health needs.
Rejoice for Resolution
There is something to be said about the journey of going from one point to the next. Honestly, Wholefoods/plant-based cooking is not my forte. I would have to try recipes someone else wrote, same as vegan or vegetarian. These are not dishes that I eat regularly; therefore, I am not as fluent with them, but I would love to share the journey with you, which brings me to the blondies. How may you ask? I am not a baker!!! I made this recipe for the first time this last Christmas. My restaurant had a Christmas party, and I baked brownies and blondies. I found the recipe in my most favorite cookbook, The Joy of Cooking.
The Joy of Cooking cookbook is one complete cookbook. It covers techniques/methods, ingredients, and a variety of recipes. It is not a technical book, in comparison to my culinary arts textbooks, so it reads rather quickly. I've owned my copy for almost 20 years. As you can see by the pictures, I have used my book quite extensively. This book has even been smeared with egg whites one fine day I was making the New York Style Cheesecake, another of my favorite recipes. If you are ever in the market for a cookbook on cooking basics, that is the book to buy.
The Best Blondies EVER!!!
So, why are these the best blondies ever? They are decadent!!! The nuttiness of the brown butter and the oakiness of the maple syrup add depth to the blondies. The blondie recipe is super easy with a few ingredients. I have made them in a 8X8 baking pan as well as a shallow 9X13. The 8x8 baking pan renders a thicker, more cakey product, while the 9X13 creates a bar like dessert. As much as I love the 8x8 pan for thickness, the 9x13 allows for better portion control, if you decide to use the 9x13 double up the recipe. Every time I make this recipe, I have doubled it because I have made it for an event.
This recipe is an adaptation from The Joy of Cooking. These blondies were not the first blondies I have ever had, but they are the tastiest. I hope you have fun with them, and much as I have fun making them. Please remember to share them with others, so you are not tempted to eat the entire pan and accompany your blondies with a sensible meal and maybe some exercise. This way, you are still working towards your beginning of the year resolutions, lol. Coffee is an excellent accompaniment for these decadent treats.
Best Blondies EVER
- cooking spray
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- ½ cup toffee chunks
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 stick
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg large
- 1 egg yolk large
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8x8 pan, although I have used a 9 x 13 because I did not plan accordingly and it gave me a flatter blondie that could be cut into a bar. If you use a bigger pan the product will cook a lot faster. The book suggest using aluminum foil to lift the product off the pan after it has cooled. I prefer the cooking spray.
- Toast pecans In a heavy saute pan, stirring continuously, until light brown for about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
- Whip together; all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Then boil it, stirring constantly, until golden brown, for about 4 minutes. *Once butter turns color it continues to turn rather fast. Please do not leave the butter unattended and pull it off the heat sooner than later, as it will continue to turn off the heat.
- Remove from heat and add both sugars until well blended. Let cool to barely warm.
- Stir until well combined; egg, egg yolk, maple syrup, and vanilla
- Stir in flour mixture and pecans. Scrape batter into baking pan and spread to the edges.
- bake until golden brown and a toothpick or a fork inserted comes out clean, 28 to 33 minutes.
- Remove pan from and let it cool.
- Cut blondies.