I've been cheating.
I know, I know, I feel terrible about it but I just haven't been able to help myself. I was seduced. And not just once. A few times now. I just can't stop thinking about my new found interest, wanting to spend all our time together. It's new and exciting, but at the same time, comforting and familiar. I've just been so frustrated and disappointed recently and this new relationship is so easy and satisfying.
I'm confused and don't know what I really want. Will I be a failure if I give up on the relationship I have now? Maybe we just need some time apart, a little break to decide what we really want and if we're really right for each other. I mean, we've had some really great times. Amazing even. But lately, I just haven't felt the spark. And I let my eyes wander.
I've been quiet up until now, sharing this with almost no one, but I have to stop living a lie and be honest.
You see, I've been baking other recipes.
I finally found some other food blogs I like, and I just couldn't help it! Everything they were making looked so good that I just started collecting recipes left and right, wanting to try every one to find the best.
And last week, with the failure of that first batch of chocolate cookies I found myself thinking that it might be the last straw for Indulge. I was cursing it as I tried to pry the first batch of soft dough from the parchment paper, and my mom said exactly what I was thinking: "I don't know about this book..."
The new recipes I've begun collecting are different than those in Indulge. They're mostly crowd pleasers meant to be made by the amateur home cook rather than upscale or complicated recipes, but that's part of the appeal. I love baking something that can make just about anyone smile and lick their lips, considering just how bad it would be to have one more piece. I'm sure I'll learn so many new techniques and the basics for making all kinds of desserts once I start school, but for now, I'd love to have a few basic recipes in my back pocket that I can just whip up easily when I need a great basic chocolate frosting, or the best chocolate chip cookies, or moist and delicious cupcakes to bring to someone's birthday, or just something that inspires me to create my own recipe.
I've made a few things over the past few weeks and I want to share them with you along with the recipes, all of which I've tweaked somewhat. Unfortunately, I don't have many or sometimes any pictures of them since I was baking them for "fun" as opposed to "blog baking," but I can certainly tell you about them and get your mouths watering. I'm not sure if I just need a break from Indulge or if this will be a permanent change as I make the transition into a teeny tiny apartment (and kitchen) and into culinary school, but we'll see...
A couple of weeks ago I was scrolling through recipes, salivating, and started craving something sweet. I knew I wanted to bake something and bring it into work, and I wanted it to be irresistible, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was that I wanted. It took me a while, but I finally realized that what I really wanted were Blondies. The name's pretty fitting, don't you think?
If you've never had a Blondie, they're sort of like a cross between a brownie and and a chocolate chip cookie; soft and chewy like a brownie but with the flavor profile of a chocolate chip cookie. Sounds good, right? A lot of people add coconut or different kinds of nuts to theirs, which is perfectly fine, but I just like to add some butterscotch for a little something special. And if I'm feeling really bad, peanut butter.
I made these and brought them into work and they got rave reviews. Even my co-worker who doesn't really like sweets had to go back for seconds, and another commented that she could easily see paying up to $3 for a generous serving from any standard bakery. These were the treats that got people suggesting I should try out for the Food Network or consider culinary school. Little do they know...
Photo courtesy of Colette's Bakery
12 Tablespoons butter at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 9 inch square pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixture, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined.
5. Add the flour mixture gradually, beating on low until just combined.
6. Fold in the butterscotch and chocolate chips.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to smooth the top. Bake until the surface is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out barely clean, about 45-55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living.
Next Indulgence: Dark Chocolate Chip Scones