The thermometer finally ducked below 70 on a weekday evening last week (hooray!), which meant that I could finally, at long last, get my bakin’ boots back on!
So when I saw that Trader Joe’s now makes a Blondie Bar baking mix, I audibly yelped with glee. I love chocolate chip cookies, especially the super-chewy ones, but chocolate chip cookies that are chewy AND in the consistency of a brownie-type bar call out to me like nothing else. While some might call these “toll house bars,” real bakers prefer Blondies.
My mind immediately went to all the munchiful mix-ins that I could pair with the Blondie: Nuts, dried fruits, other baking chips. Or, how about a trifecta of one item from each category? Of course, I didn’t want to overdo it or mix in too much to ruin the Blondie consistency either, so I made sure to restrict myself based on what the box mentioned for their recommended mix-ins (1/2-cup total additional ingredients).
I came to my final decisions based on C’s query of the day: He asked me what I thought if our family was to go to Hawaii for a few days around the holidays? Aloha? I thought he was talking crazy for a second, considering that the holidays are probably the hardest time book Hawaii (not to mention the most pricey). But he of course asked me to sit down and review our hotel points and airline miles balances; I don’t know how it penciled possible, but it did. We had enough of each accounts for the three of us to fly there and back AND stay for free at our favorite spot on the Big Island. Well, then, Aloha, here we come, and Happy Holidays!
And with that, here is my tropical tweak on the Blondie Bar. Mahalo, and you’re welcome.
TJ’s Blondies with White Chocolate, Macadamia Nuts, and Coconut
– 1 Box Trader Joe’s Blondie Bar Baking Mix
– 1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz.), melted
– 1 large egg
– ¼ c. shredded coconut (I didn’t toast it this time, but might next time; you can find easy coconut toasting tips here)
– ¼ c. white chocolate chips (got these at TJ’s also)
– ¼ c. chopped, unsalted macadamia nuts
1. Prepare Blondie dough as stated on box of mix.
2. Combine together the coconut, white chocolate chips, and macadamia buts in a bag or bowl; keep your 1/4 c. measuring cup nearby.
3. Fold in ½ c. of the mix-in mixture ¼ c. at a time. Reserve the rest for later.
4. Return to TJ’s mix directions, spreading dough in pan and baking as recommended (I baked for 28 minutes for chewy consistency).
5. Cool Blondies on wire rack for 10 minutes, I inverted the Blondies onto a cutting surface and sliced into squares. As I used a 9”x9”x2” pan (an 8”x8”x2” pan is recommended, but I don’t have one; the slightly larger size was just fine), I cut into 36 small squares (6×6) for smaller portions than the 16 servings as listed in the Nutrition Facts.
As for that extra ¼-cup or so of mix-ins that we didn’t use in the recipe above? You can always save it for another baking session. Or, you can do what I did and mix it into a bowl of oatmeal the next morning at breakfast. Ono-kine indeed, RMT’ers!
Oh, and wondering where I came up with the idea of the cute box to pack some of these tasties up for T’s teacher? Check out 24/7 MOMS for this and other inspiring ideas. While I didn’t take my box as far as theirs with the super-amazing elastic closure with button (seriously, it took me about as long to wrap the box as it did to bake the Blondies after all!), the photo still inspired me to reuse that used-up parchment paper box at the end of the baking session in a way I might otherwise not have. Now that’s what I call a gift that keeps on giving!
What’s baking with you, RMT’ers?
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