Valentine Chocolate-Chip Blondies

 threeblondiesweb

 
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Tinky
 
I seldom suffer from writer’s block. On the rare occasions on which it strikes my brain and fingers there is only one foolproof solution: chocolate. I pop a truffle or a chocolate kiss into my mouth. Suddenly I can write.

 

Why and how does chocolate affect our brains? Scientists have a number of theories about its chemical properties. Here are a few possibilities: It stimulates us. It soothes us. It is good for our hearts. It prevents cancer. It is an aphrodisiac or mimics the feeling of being in love. It resembles certain drugs in its effect on our psyches.

 

None of these theories has been proven. Perhaps the scientists studying chocolate want to take their time. Certainly it is difficult to imagine a more appealing substance to keep under the microscope for years on end.

 

I believe that much of chocolate’s effect is psychological and cultural rather than physiological. One of my first memories of chocolate is the heart-shaped box of chocolates my father presented to my mother on Valentine’s Day when I was three. Chocolate represents love in our culture. When we receive it as a gift or pop a piece into our mouths we experience the feeling of being cherished.

 

This Valentine’s Day I’m giving quite a few people that feeling. I’m following my own taste, however, in presenting a chocolate treat that is not too chocolaty. I’m not a girl who is easily wooed by triple chocolate cookies or chocolate lava cake. I prefer my chocolate tempered with other flavors.

 

Consequently, the chocolate in these blondies is really a co-star. Their easy, tasty recipe comes courtesy of La Prima Catering. La Prima is a business-oriented catering company in the Washington, D.C., area. General manager Graham McCulloch brought some of these blondies to a party at my nephew’s school. When I raved the company kindly shared the formula.

 

Of course, La Prima president Dave Evans first had to cut down the proportions since he usually makes enough blondies to serve several hundred people! I am grateful for his perseverance.

 

You may change the recipe a bit if you like. The blondies are chewier and sweeter if you firmly pack the brown sugar, add another half stick of butter, and cut back to 2-1/2 cups of flour. My sister-in-law Leigh likes them this way. I’m fond of them just the way La Prima makes them, however—pretty and sweet but not too sweet.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

card5

 

La Prima Chocolate-Chip Blondies

 

Ingredients:

 

1/4 pound (1 stick) sweet butter

2 cups dark brown sugar lightly packed

2 eggs, beaten

2-3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1- 3/4 cups chocolate chunks or chips

 

Instructions:

 

Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

 

Combine the butter, sugar, and eggs together.  Beat until smooth.

 

Combine the dry ingredients, and stir them into the butter mixture. Add the chocolate chips, and stir until you have a stiff batter.

 

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. You will need to press it down with the palm of your hand in order to get it to hold together and fill the pan. Bake the blondies until they are a very light brown and not wet (25 to 30 minutes).

 

Cool the blondies on a wire rack. Cut them into 12 rectangles, and cut each rectangle diagonally into two triangles. Makes 24 triangles.

 

 
 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Be mine!

 

 

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3 Responses to “Valentine Chocolate-Chip Blondies”

  1. Dick Matthews Says:

    Loved your “Be Mine” photo. Please know, our vivid and irrepressible Tinky, that we will be yours–as both friends and fans–forever.

    Dick and Pam Matthews

  2. C. Elizabeth Van Dyk Says:

    Love this column! Elegant and amusing.

    Your entire website is terrific. Easygoing, conversational–like a visit from a friend.

    Blessings,
    EVD

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