Sometimes Fridays come in the nick of time, like a life raft, just when you think you don’t have any more in you. Finally, there it is like a perky invitation to your weekend; a weekend that surely (God willing) will be better than the week before it. These peanut butter chocolate chip blondies are my celebration toast to Fridays.
Skip the champagne and any other hoopla, just give me a big, fat rich peanut butter cookie bar decked out with my favorite darkest chocolate chips (Ghirardelli) and I am ready to get this party started.
No, my week was not THAT bad, and I certainly hope yours was not either, but any way you look at it Fridays are a reminder that there is still a “you” in there somewhere and a life that can be pretty cool. A you who wants to sleep in or jump up at the crack of dawn to bake, not get ready for work or school. A you who does not answer to a page over the intercom, nor meets deadlines for other people, nor carpools kids to school.
It’s easy to forget who you are sometimes when you are wrangling children, appeasing clients, studying for exams or just trying to get through the week with as little incidents as possible. Life is lived in the fastlane for most of us.
We are whizzing on freeways (or stopped dead still if you are in Los Angeles like I am), pushing through work at lightning speed or harassing our kids to get their homework done…the pace never stops and sometimes we feel like we are on a broken treadmill, set at the fastest speed and the emergency stop button is nowhere to be found. And yet, we find we are still behind somehow. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!
How are we always behind in everything we want to accomplish? Whether it’s as simple as a huge pile of laundry or as complicated as completing a critical project for work or school, why are we always just a hair behind where we want to be? Why isn’t here, right where we are, never quite good enough?
So while I contemplate life’s pace and meaning here with my plate of blondies and my tall, cold glass of milk, I have decided for one moment in my life to be happy with where I am and what I am doing right now…eating a yummy peanut butter blondie and finishing my latest post. If only I had already washed the stack of peanut butter coated dishes…
Peanut Butter Blondies
Changed just a smidge From Dorie Greenspan’s recipe in Baking From My Home to Yours
Makes about 24 1.5×1.5 inch Blondies
2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 c. crunchy or creamy peanut butter (not the oil separated type)
1/2 c. + 2T. (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 c. coarsely chopped peanuts (or only 1 c. if you just want to sprinkle them on top like I did)
1 c. good quality chocolate chips –Ghirardelli bittersweet is my budget-friendly fave
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13 rectangular dish with foil as seen in one of the photos above. Spray coat or butter the foil (I spray coated and it worked excellently).
Whisk together the dry ingredients from flour to cinnamon. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or use a hand beater and combine butter and peanut butter on medium speed and beat until smooth. Add sugars and beat for 1 -2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time and beat in between each addition. I like to crack my eggs individually in a liquid measuring cup to see if it’s a bad egg. That way I don’t ruin my batter with one bad egg. Add the vanilla and beat on medium speed until all ingredients are combined.
Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and combine on low speed. Add the last 1/2 of the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed ONLY until all ingredients are adequately incorporated. Do not over mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl now and then in between beating. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and they feel firm to the touch. They should be a nice golden brown.
Wait until they cool completely to carefully lift the blondies out of the pan and invert onto a cutting board, gripping the aluminum foil. Peel away the foil and cut into squares when cool.