Posts tagged ‘chocolate chip’

Back-to-School Blondies

7 September, 2012 | | 1 Comment

Maybe I watched too many afterschool specials when I was little, but the image of a kid coming home from school to a plate of warm baked goods still makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

So, though my house be disorganized, the laundry may sit in (clean) drifts on my bed and the paid work doesn’t get done, I returned from dropping my kids off for their first day of school and baked something for an afterschool treat.

To reinforce the housewifely image of perfection I seem to be trying for, I went to my mother’s blue three-ring binder of recipes she’d collected over the years for inspiration. In and amongst recipes written in my grandmother’s Edwardian longhand for Matzoh Charlotte, and ideas for onion soup mix clipped sometime in the early 1960s, I found the blond brownies my mother used to make. The recipe was from my father’s assistant secretary, Helen Shulman, who had typed it out very neatly on what was known as a (say it with me) typewriter.

To bring it up to 2012 suburban standards and add that sanctimonious factor I enjoy so much, I improved the nutrition of the recipe, substituting whole wheat flour and then adding 2 whole tablespoons of flax seed. But I also doubled the amount of chocolate chips. I have to eat these things, after all.I even used a wooden spoon, instead of my fancy Kitchen-Aid mixer, for the old-fashioned echt-itude. Quaint, no?

I am pleased to say they came home from school and glormed them up with a nice cold glass of milk. And I will admit, I felt a little warm and fuzzy inside.

Recipe note: You can subsitute an equal amount of all-purpose white flour if you don’t have whole wheat on hand. And leave out the flax seed. Or substitute wheat germ to up the B-vitamin content.Brownies as tan and golden as any of us would wish to be at the end of the summer. That said, I am pale and chocolate-filled.

Back-to-School Blond Brownies

What You Need:

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed or wheat germ

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp real vanilla extract

1 tsp orange zest (if you wish)

1 cup chocolate chips

What You Need to Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 9-inch square baking pan. (8 x 8 is fine too. Just bake them a little longer.)

2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and the brown sugar until well-blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix. Add the vanilla and stir for 30 seconds.

3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and flaxseed/wheat germ and stir until blended. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the batter evenly.

4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached.

5. Cool. Slice. Pile on a plate. Place in middle of table and roll cameras. Probably time for a Calgon bath now.






Cookies That Come With a Warning

9 March, 2012 | | No Comment

I am afraid to be alone in the house right now.

Downstairs in my kitchen is something unspeakably dangerous: Peanut butter chocolate chip shortbread.

Yes, I’m afraid of the cookies cooling on the rack in my kitchen. Because they want me to eat them all. Every crumbly, peanut-buttery, chocolate-y one of them is begging, nay, demanding me to eat them. I created them and only I have the ability to destroy them. Unfortunately, I also have the desire to destroy them.

The cookies are subtle with peanut butter and are addictive thanks to their melt-in-the-mouth texture. A combination of confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter and butter are to thank for that. They are also simple to make. Perhaps this recipe’s saving grace is that you need to chill the dough for a few hours before baking, which means I can’t just run to the kitchen and whomp up a recipe willy-nilly. (Although doubling the recipe and storing a roll of the dough in the freezer would solve that problem. See how insidious these are?)

I found the recipe on the wonderful blog: The View From the Great Island. The woman is a genius. If I were her, I might not bother to come up with another recipe again. Sort of like the Toll House cookie inventor.

My only tweak to her recipe was to replace the milk chocolate morsels she recommends with semi-sweet chips, as I prefer a more intensely chocolate contrast with my peanut butter. Also, I added more chocolate chips than she did. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

If you can’t find me later today, look for me in the treehouse in the backyard. I’ll be the one with the blanket over her head, humming to herself, desperate to avoid the siren song of these cookies.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy All-Natural)
  • 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

What To Do:

1. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter together until you can’t tell the two apart. Add the vanilla until just blended.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together the dry ingredients and add it to the butter mixture. Mix until the dough begins to come together–it will still be crumbly. Add the chocolate chips and blend. The dough will still be loose.

3. Dump the dough onto a large piece of wax or parchment paper and massage it together with your hands. As it starts to become a uniform dough, begin to shape it into one or two long logs. Roll it up in the wax or parchment paper. You can make it into a cylinder, or gently press down on the log to form a flat side and repeat that 4 times to make a square-shaped log. Place the dough into the refrigerator to rest for 2-3 hours.

4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and line two baking sheets with parchment.

5. Unwrap the dough and, using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 1/3-inch pieces and transfer to the cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the dough just begins to take on the faintest bit of color. Too brown and they lose their crumbliness. They will still taste good, though. Cool on a rack, then grab one or two to taste, and immediately get in the car and drive far away so you do not eat them all.