Anyway, one of the photos from yesterday's e-mail immediately caught my eye. I clicked through to read the recipe, and immediately added them to the list of things wanted to try. Blondies are sometimes referred to as brownies without the chocolate, but I think of them as more like cookie-bars. And these particular blondies were swirled with peanut butter and jelly - looked like something that might be a fun snack for kids. As luck would have it, also in my inbox was an invitation to a friend's play-group get together at a local park. Talk about good timing!
This morning, with little man strapped to me in the moby wrap (that thing comes in SO handy!), little miss and I got down to work. The recipe is actually super easy, and is a lot of fun to put together. While I beat together the wet ingredients in the mixer, little miss set to whisking the dry ingredients. The two were then combined to make a pretty thick, cookie-like dough. As I said - blondies=cookie bar. I spread the batter into my brownie pan, and then came time for the fun part.
With clean hands, little miss and I dropped teaspoons full of peanut butter and jelly onto the surface of the batter. Little miss helped me create a three-by-three pattern, alternating peanut butter and jelly to ensure a good distribution of both spreads throughout our snack. Then I used a dull knife to swirl the peanut butter and jelly through the batter. Since the batter was so thick and the jelly so... well, jelled, it was a little tough to make really neat swirls, but with a little patience, we were soon ready to pop the pan into the oven.
I know I say this a lot, but these smelled so good as they baked.
Once the timer beeped, we were pretty excited to see how they would look. From the top, you could kind of see some of the jelly swirl, but we had to wait until they cooled to actually cut into them and see how we did.
And, as it turns out, I think we did pretty well! They were a little flatter than I'd expected, but that is probably because my brownie pan is 9" x 9", rather than 8" x 8" as the recipe indicates. But that had nothing to do with the taste, which was really great - the gooey-ness of brownies (or, you know, really gooey cookies) with the yumminess and total kid-friendliness of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
Now, as it turns out, our play group turned into a playdate, with little miss's friend joining us for some crafting and outside play at our house, but the blondies went over really well, with both girls "sneaking" extra pieces throughout the afternoon. Which I took as a positive review. Little miss told me "Mom, you can make these any day. Actually, you can make them every day!" So I'd say these were a hit, and we will definitely be making them again.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Swirl Blondies
(from Gingerbread Bagels)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature
2 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy is what I used, but crunchy could probably work)
2 tablespoons jam (I used strawberry preserves)
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla. When well combined, beat in the egg.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients until mostly combined. Complete the mixing by hand, with a spatula, folding the mixture together until everything is incorporated.
Spread the batter into a lightly greased 8" x 8" pan.
Place 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1/2 tablespoons of jam on top of the blondies in an alternating 3 x 3 pattern - starting with the first row down, place one drop of peanut butter, then one of jam, then one of peanut butter. For the second row, start with jam, then peanut butter, then jam. For the last row, repeat the first row.
Using a blunt knife, swirl the peanut butter and jam throughout the blondie batter.
Bake for 25 minutes. Allow the pan to cool on a cooling rack before cutting the blondies into pieces.
Then I dare you to not eat the whole thing at once... :)