While I spend a great deal of my day typing on my laptop or smartphone, I still don’t think there’s anything better than writing or receiving a handwritten card or note. Call me old fashioned if you want, but there are few things that perk me up more than sending or receiving cards.
Walking to the mailbox on a nice day always fills me with a little hope that there will be a card in there waiting for me. Of course, in the day and age of the Internet, more often than not, I walk back to the house, flipping through junk mail, disappointed not to find a pretty envelope with a handwritten address. Then there are the days when a smile spreads across my face as I find just what I was looking for. Whether birthday cards, Christmas cards, thank you notes, or the rarity that is the note for no reason at all, I tear them open and read the message inside, knowing in all likelihood; my day has just been made.
It’s not just receiving cards that fills me with joy; I love sending them too. First, there’s buying the cards. I keep a stock of thank you cards, blank cards, and birthday cards on hand so I am prepared when one is needed. Papyrus is my favorite place to buy cards. Even though it is such a tiny store, there are a seemingly endless number of cards to look at, many of which are covered in glitter, beads, and rhinestones, bringing out the fashionista who loves bling in me. I could easily spend an hour there wandering around, choosing the best cards for my needs that day. I also love the boxes of unique cards at Costco. They look handmade with pop ups and more glitter, beads, and rhinestones.
Once I have the cards in my hands, usually far more than I could ever need, it comes time to write them. Whether helping Mom pen dozens of Christmas cards, sending birthday greetings to the special people in my life, expressing my thanks for a gift or kind gesture or writing a note just because, I put my all into each card, trying to tell the person how much they and their actions mean to me. I hope they enjoy receiving and reading my cards as much as I enjoy writing and sending them.
These blondies remind me of writing cards because they are a bit of an old fashioned recipe. In the day and age of fancy cupcakes, mini pies, donuts, and salted caramels, blondies have taken a backseat to all the trendy treats, but they are still moist, gooey, dense, rich goodies that should be given the respect they deserve.
I don’t really remember what brownies taste like, but I think these are probably really close. They have that hard brownie top with a super gooey interior, with the white chips adding just a little extra texture. However, watch them when baking. Mine puffed up tremendously and some fell over the side of the pan, burning on the bottom of the oven and smoking like crazy. It was a miracle the smoke detector didn’t go off! These are still worth making and were so yummy, but put foil under the pan to catch any that falls for easy removal. Also keep in mind it could be the fault of my new ovens which I still don’t like, as I have made this recipe before with no problems.
So let’s bring back some old fashioned fun. The next time you’re looking for something to bake, check these blondies out, and the next time you want to share some thoughts with someone pick up a pen and paper instead of heading to the computer.
- 2 ¾ cups, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk (pasteurized if you like)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 12 ounce bag Nestle Premium White Chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 17 by 2 inch baking sheet. Line the pan with parchment and butter the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. In a large bowl mix together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. If the butter is truly at room temperature this can be done by hand easily, but if it is not a hand mixer will do the trick. Add the eggs and yolk one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Mix in vanilla and molasses until combined before adding flour mixture. Stir until flour is just combined, then fold in the white chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading to make it as even as possible and pushing the batter to the corners. Bake until edges are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 25 minutes. Don’t forget the foil under the pan. Cool completely in pan before cutting into 32 squares, 8 cuts on the long side, 4 on the short side. Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in a 350 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes for a couple blondies, longer times will be required for bigger portions.