Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Magic Blondies

There is a benefit to working from home. When your day isn't working exactly the way you planned it would, you hit the kitchen for a little therapy - baking therapy that is. Thank goodness Martha is in the house and her cookie book never out of reach. I didn't even know what I felt like baking, my main goal was avoiding going back to my office for a while.

While putting the ingredients together I had this thought of "maybe I should have picked a more complex recipe". The good news is that it's a breeze to put together and supplies instant gratification on the other end. The heavenly smell and delicious finished product gave me just enough motivation to resume the "fight"


2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (about 2 1/2 oz)
2/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp coarse salt
9 Tbsp (1 stick plus 1 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Stir together coconut, chocolate, walnuts and cherries in a bowl. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl.

2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture and mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined. Mix in 1 cup coconut mixture.

3. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Sprinkle remaining coconut mixture over tops. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet - about 25 minutes (at 22 minutes mine were getting overdone). Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

I'm sending this sweet bit of goodness over to

Ben at What's Cooking Ben has put alot of working into creating this venue twice a month to showcase both sweet and savoury creations. After the entries are in there's a voting forum - no pressure - remembah who your friends are :).

We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Ivy at Kopiaste...to Greek Hospitality for extending the Magic Lamp of Luck Award. We'll be seriously rubbing that lamp to help us through the next couple of fun and insane weeks of moving and catering.

Our picks for the Magic Lamp of Luck award are:

1. Rosie at Rosie Bakes a Peace of Cake Rosie is working very hard to make sure that we enjoy and benefit from Sweet and Simple Bakes , a monthly preset baking experience that allows for both beginners and veterans to enjoy baking something that will encourage us to keep trying and expanding both our knowledge base and capabilities.

2. Parker, fellow Canadian from Vanilla Bean Cafe . We want to send good vibes and good luck as she moves from her "hot apartment" to a nicer environment. Good luck with the move. I so feel your pain.

3. Jill from Simple Daily Recipes not only cranks out beautiful recipes on a regular basis, she is also the powerhouse behind The Great Cooks Community . Honestly, I don't know how she does it but I'm sure a genie or two wouldn't hurt to maintain all that incredible energy she puts into what she does. You're amazing Jill - I get tired just watching everything you do.

4. Nick of The Peanut Butter Boy has carved a niche for himself featuring all things peanut butter. Of late, Nick's been getting some interesting recognition for his peanut butter passion and we're sending him good luck. Remember your buds in the blog world when your face is featured in Times Square as the Unique Find of the Century.

5. Adam, our budding chiropractor from Baking with Dynamite has expended an incredible amount of time and energy into making sure we understand the importance of good health but also how all the pieces fit together. His ability to bring information down to a lay level that even I can understand (imagine that) tells me that this guy is going places. Besides being a great teacher, the man can dance his way around a kitchen. He's perfect. Good luck Adam in everything you do.

A big thank you to Lina of My Life is Yummy for awarding us the Best Blog Darts Thinkers & Beautiful Site Award.

This award is a really tough one to share. I know, I know, we all say that - we all mean it too. When you meet so many incredibly talented people it's just not possible to say here's a handful of exceptional blogs that meet our subjective criteria. Without great detail, here are our picks. None of these blogs need formal introduction. If you haven't visited some of them, please do - you will not be disappointed.

1. Ann from Redacted Recipes
2. Helen from Tartelette
3. Joelen of Joelen's Culinary Adventure
4. Deeba of Passionate about Baking
5. Melissa at Alosha's Kitchen

Although we acknowledged receipt of the Brilliante Blog Award a few days ago from the lovely and talented Ohio Mom of Cooking in Cleveland we promised to share with some of our favourite "haunts" in the blog world. Trust me, this is not an exclusive list but some blogs worthy of note.

So here's what else I'm suppose to do.

1. Put the logo on my blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to me.
3. Nominate other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs.
5. Leave a message on your nominees’ blogs.

Please take the time to visit the following blogs. Each and every one of them is both unique and very special. I'm not sure I can even do any one of these blogs the justice each deserves - you just need to go and see for yourself.

1. Proud Italian Cook
2. Use Real Butter
3. Chefs Gone Wild
4. White on Rice Couple
5. Dine and Dish StumbleUpon


eatme_delicious said...

Oh wow yum! These definitely look like a good pick me up treat.

La Bella Cooks said...

Flaked coconut and chocolate chips? Sounds perfect to me!

That Girl said...

I'm so jealous. There are days I would love a little baking therapy, but my office just doesn't keep flour on hand ;-)

Deeba PAB said...

*Blush* Giz, I am deeply touched; thank you for thinking about me! The blondies are magical...& so are you!!

Helene said...

Thank you for the award, I am honored :)

What's Cookin Chicago said...

Thank you for the awards - I'm so flattered! I really enjoy your posts and look forward to your updates. As for the magic blondies... wow. Delicious eats as always! :)

Melissa said...

Those ARE magic. Nice. And kudos to Ben for the event, I need to check out his page more often as well.

Congrats on all your awards! You guys are a wonderful place to visit and learn from.

And thank you so much for the award right back. To even be in the same list as any of those ladies, on your multiple lists, is humbling.

Keep on making your wonderful stuff, you're very inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Wow that looks so nice and chunky. My type of baked goods to munch on

Sunshinemom said...

When I looked at the picture I expected a savoury muffin! Very tasty muffins - I wouldn't want to go to work after having these!

Chef Jeena said...

Sounds so tasty and looks wonderful!

Fitness Foodie said...

I am back blogging now. I will ease slowly into it as I have been injured. But happy to be back. I see I missed some wonderful posts.

Ben said...

I agree that working from home has its benefits. Especially when you can get up and bake something delicious. :-p Thanks for your entry and good luck!

Elle said...

Um, YUM! And congrts on your awards!

Adam said...

Thank you so very much Giz! I'm very happy that you enjoy my blog, and glad that you are learning cool things about baking and nutrition.

I love the addition of coconut in the blondies, my next batch is def going to take a page from that book :)

kat said...

Blondies always remind me of my old roommate in SF, though she always did them as bars, I like the idea on doing them as cupcakes

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

Thank you for the award, I do need some luck right now! Of course I won't forget you guys, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in only the first 3 Peanut Butter Exhibitions! In case I do forget, I'm finally going to update my favorite blog links and add your wonderful kitchen!

Elly said...

Ooooh how I love blondies. These use SUCH a good combo of ingredients. Mmm.

grace said...

any recipe containing coconut, chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit is sure to cure what ails ya. congrats on your awards and on these yummy bites. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey this look fab-o-lus! I love Martha, she's always got something good to cook up.

krysta said...

chocolate and coconut in brownies... i'm there.

Anonymous said...

You have the best of both worlds, yummy magic blondies and you work from your home. Lucky you!

Beth (jamandcream) said...

I work from home and love it purely because when I hit a bit of a brick wall with something, I go down to the Kitchen to bake!!! These blondies look fantastic

Deborah said...

I just made brownies from Martha's cookbook last night! And I was thinking I wish I would have chosen an easier recipe! These do sound delicious, though!

Darius T. Williams said...

These treats are some good lookin' treats!


Mansi said...

wow, those blondies do look pretty fascinating! love the coconut flakes:)

Ivy said...

I did some baking therapy today (lol) which will go to Ben's event tomorrow. Your recipe is bookmarked

Vera said...

Giz, the blondies look yummy. I'm sure they also tasted great.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Congratulations on all your awards guys. You deserve every accolade:D Now if you could send me some of those Blondies by FedEX I'll be eternally grateful:D

Bunny said...

I would love to work at home! But then I'd be in the kitchen all the time hee hee! These look like great nourishment for the fight!

Cakelaw said...

I would love to work at home - though I think I'd be tempted to bake instead of work, LOL. Loving these blondies.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Giz, Thank you so, so, much for the award!! I'm so appreciative! And as for you blondies...Definately magical! Those could become very addicting. In a good way!

kellypea said...

This is one of those I'll skip breakfast and have two type recipes. YUM! And congrats on all the blog lovin'.

KJ said...

This would be exactly why I could not work at home. Work shmerk. I would end up seriously overweight and seriously poor. But with these blondies it might just be worth it.

Anonymous said...

I love blondies! And thank you for the award... it means a lot coming from you two.

Jen Yu said...

You are sooo sweet. Thank you for the award. However, I would also like to say, "Holy Cow!" you are soooo popular! Look at all of those awards bestowed upon YOU!!! xxoo

Rosie said...

Those are def a wow factor & magic!!

Congrats on all your well deserved awards and many thanks for this award - I am thrilled and deeply touched you should think of me!!

Rosie x

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