Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Early is Too Early for Holiday Cheer?

I love the holidays. In past years, I mostly loved them because I could listen to holiday music and sit by the fire while I did my homework or read. Now, I am not in school and I have been busy and lazy about getting my work done. When I was in school, I remember how much it bothered me when holiday advertising began too early (especially pre-Thanksgiving). I always had papers or finals and I wanted to only taste the holiday cheer in the last few weeks before vacation, so I did not get too antsy.

So, this year, I decided no holiday music or movies until Decemeber first. But, in terms of baking ideas (one of my favorite parts of the holidays), I figured it was reasonable to search around. Although I really should not eat holiday cookies or deserts anymore, and over the last two years I have been reasonably restrained, I can still enjoy baking them and having the wonderful smells fill the house. I can give the desserts away as gifts or feed them to friends.

This year, I found one thing I probably will not be able to resist having entirely. When I was a kid, one of my favorite desserts (and probably foods) in the whole world was an Angel Kiss. It was a blond brownie with chocolate chips lightly drizzled in a chocolate sauce. Yum! I have not had one, since I was about 10, but I found a recipe for something similar in Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies and I just cannot resist modifying it into my old favorite. Here is the modified version of their "blondie" recipe. I have not tried it yet, but I will try it in the next few weeks.

1 cup (5 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (5.25 oz) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1.75 oz) sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yoke
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (1/2 package) semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt
  3. In a large saucepan, boil butter for about 4 minutes stirring constantly until a light golden brown.
  4. Remove from the heat. Stir in sugar and brown sugar.
  5. Let the mixture cool until barely warm.
  6. Add egg, egg yoke, corn syrup, and vanilla. Stir until thoroughly blended.
  7. Add flour mixture. Stir until entirly mixed in.
  8. Add chocolate chips. Stir until evenly incorporated.
  9. Prepare an 8 inch baking pan. Place a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of the pan son that it hands over the narrow ends of the pan by about 2 inches.
  10. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
  11. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 28 to 33 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the thickest part comes out clean
  12. Transfer the pan to a wire cooling rack and let stand until cool. 
  13. Using the overhanging foil as handles, lift the bar to a cutting board. Peel off the foil and cut into bars.

I will have to get back to you for a recipe on how to make the chocolate sauce and also as to whether these blond brownies turn out the way that I remember. If anyone tries it out, please comment!

Update from 12/20/10:
I made them. They are excellent and exactly how I remember them (although still without the chocolate sauce). There is a short preliminary review and more pictures on my blogpost "Picture Updates for Holiday Recipes (and Reviews)."

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