Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blondies, Bars, and A Cookbook Giveaway!



I've been in a funk lately and haven't been cooking or baking. I'm not really sure why. I haven't had much of an appetite either and I think that's probably why the lack of interest in being in the kitchen. Thank goodness for Mr. H and his ability to prepare a meal or we would have starved this past week. (Thanks babe!) Last week, I went to visit my friend, Maranda of Jolts and Jollies. We baked together while her son and Hayden "played" together. We pretended that we were getting the kids together for a playdate, but really is was so we could play in the kitchen with sugar and flour!

We baked from the new cookbook, Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook from Cheryl and Griffith Day. If you haven't checked out this book yet, put it on your list because there was not one thing in there that I didn't want to make. It's a great cookbook- the pictures are bright and clear and the recipes themselves are not overly complicated. I chose to make Drunk Blondies that were cram packed with toasted coconut, chocolate chips and pecans but they were so perfectly balanced in flavor that not one ingredient stood out over the other.

These blondies were so buttery and chewy and delicious. My absolute favorite part was the edges though- oh my goodness, they're good! There's also a healthy dose of Bourbon in these too, hence the name, Drunk Blondies, but the alcohol taste was subtle. If you're not a fan of baking with spirits, simply leave it out, but I thought it was a nice addition. Maranda chose to make Lemon Pie Bars that were perfectly tart and sweet and had a melt in your mouth crust. Both recipes were winners! Are you interested in winning a copy of Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook? Scroll down to the end of this post to see how!

Drunk Blondies from Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over two opposite edges of the pan. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. 

Put the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir with a spoon until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and bourbon, and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the flour mixture, followed by the pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut the blondies into bars. The blondies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

TIP: The easiest way to toast coconut is in the oven. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the coconut in a baking pan and bake for 5-8 minutes, tossing every couple of minutes with a heat-resistant spoon to ensure even browning. Keep a close eye on the coconut, because it can burn easily. 



For the recipe for Lemon Pie Bars and for a chance to win your very own copy of Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook please visit my friend Maranda at Jolts and Jollies. Tell her your most memorable back in the day baking memory and this book could be yours! While you're there, kick up your feet and stay awhile. Happy Baking!



37 comments:

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie said...

Hey there! I saw these on my Google reader and they sound great! Drunken blondies, heck yes. Also I was told to come over here from Jolts & Jollies saying she sent me, but you're actually the person who sent me to who, so thanks!

Amanda Richard said...

I saw your blog through Jolts & Jollies and couldn't wait to check it out! I'm looking forward to making these blondies soon!

Anonymous said...

It was through you that I went to Jolts and Jollies (tho. have it bookmarked already!) and left a comment for the giveaway-thanks to you both!

Heather said...

These sound amazing! I'd love to give this book a whirl...still loving the Tates cookbook.

Susan said...

Jolts & Jollies directed me to leave this post here. I'd love to have the Back in the Day cookbook!

Myra said...

2 new recipes I want to try, 2 more blogs to love, and a new cookbook that I've gotta see! :)
PS- I'm an edge-lover, too. Isn't it nice that we can take "funk breaks" from baking but it's always there for us just when we need it. I call it baking therapy. Here's to funk-fighting!

Emily Rehse said...

I love these bars, and I am so excited to see Back In The Day on your blog! {I'm from Savannah, so of course I love BITD!}

thewaytohisheart said...

I started here, went to Maranda's site, and then was directed back here for a comment for the giveaway! :)

LoLy said...

WOW, this looks sooooooooo good :)
xoxo

busyrunningmama said...

Those blondies look soooo amazing! Headed to Maranda's blog to see about winning that cookbook!!

Debbie said...

I'm back from Jolts and Jollies and I would love to win this cookbook....!

Ashley said...

Sneaking booze into the dessert...I like it!! These sound great :)

Cindy B. said...

Hi Monica, Maranda at Jolts and Jollies sent me. I'm so glad I found her blog and yours too. Blondies look delicious.

Becca said...

I love the edges of brownies and blondes. Sometimes they are the best parts!

I don't have many "back in the day" baking memories since I only really started baking about 3 or 4 years ago. But when I was much younger (around 10-12) and my sister and I made cake with a cake mix we would always make the marble kind. I would get to eat the chocolate batter left in the bowl and my sister would get to eat the vanilla batter. Those were good times. :)

amy beth marantino said...

Jolts & Jollies sent me back. this book seems really terrific.

Sharona said...

sent by jolts and jollies

Debby said...

I love blondies, can't wait to try these!

joy mcelroy said...

I have been enjoying your emails for awhile, and now you have introduced me to Jolts and Jollies. Just got back from there- thanks! Please enter me in the cookbook giveaway. Thank you. :)

kimt said...

these sound great. wil be making them very soon

Nicole K said...

Oh my gosh! I got a blog notification, came here this morning, drooled over your post and THEN went over to Jolts & Jollies - another blog to salivate over every time I read it! Thanks for another great post!

Andrew's Mom said...

Blondies are my favorite - and those look great!

Melanie said...

I found your blog through Maranda's blog, and it is a treasure. I adore baking very much, and am excited to try some of your fantastic recipes.

Darla Ellett said...

Love the pictures. Jolts & Jollies sent me. Glad they did!!!

Avril said...

I hope you are feeling better now Monica...being in a "funk" is no fun :( So glad you got together with Maranda and baked together - sounds like a perfect "pick me up"!

Your bars look scrumptious! And that cookbook has had my eye on it...I must get it! HUGS to you Sweetie!

Dee said...

I would love to win the Back in the Day Cookbook.

Nisa Homey said...

Your bars looks "must try ASAP" but one quick question, I live in the land of coconuts, so fresh coconut is in abundance, wondering whether I can used freshly grated coconut (toasted in oven).

Stephanie said...

Hi Monica, Maranda at Jolts and Jollies sent me! These blondies looks amazing and so do your Almond Jam Bars!

Candace said...

Thanks for the link to Maranda and another great recipe! I love Blondies and haven't made them for a while! I'll be checking out Maranda, too!
Cheers!

Angela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela said...

Came over from Jolts and Jollies...would love to win this cookbook!

Michelle Daniels said...

came from Jolts and Jollies! very delicious looking recipe.

Deborah said...

I just came back from Jolts and Jollies!

Heather of Kitchen Concoctions said...

What a fun 'play date' for both the kids and Mommies! These blondies look delightful. I love that they are full of all sorts of goodies (the bourbon included)! And I have had my eye on that cookbook for awhile now, it looks so good to pass up!

GMCT said...

Love blond brownies so drunken brownies ought to be super. Can't wait to try. Went over to Jolts and Jollies. Loved lemon bars. She sent me back to you. Hope I get cookbook.

Maranda said...

Your bars look great babe! And I know how good they were! Thanks for taking a day and baking with me then taking another day to blog with me. xoxoxoxoxo

Kerstin said...

Aww, how fun you had a baking play date :) Looks like a very fun cookbook!

Mary Cisetti said...

Monica,

Wow--those Blondies look to die for! I cannot wait to try out that recipe!

Mary
On Behalf of Chinet

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