Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dirty Blondes

A good cookie recipe can often be tweaked to yield a different but equally delicious one. So far I've taken Big Blondes (the cookie), changed a few things to get Dumpy Blondes, and now changed some other things to get Dirty Blondes.

I keep thinking that if I figure out a few more variations I can sell them and sketch some blondes to go on the labels...a busty blond for the first, a hefty short blond for the second and maybe a sexy blond with bleached hair and dark roots for this one. Even without compelling labels these should sell...they are packed with all sorts of mix-ins and can become addictive if you're not careful.

These are named Dirty Blondes because of the addition of espresso powder which give them dark flecks here and there, plus a lovely coffee flavor that goes so well with the two kinds of chocolate.

These mix together in a large bowl with a wooden mixer needed. You do have to dirty a pot melting the butter and brown sugar together but otherwise its and easy clean up recipe. Since these are on the nutty and super sweet side be sure to make the full batch if there will be kids around when they come out of the oven!

Since I made these last night and only Sweetie and I were around I still have almost the whole recipe's worth in the fridge. Now I get to find out if they freeze well.

In case you've been keeping up with the seedling project, today was a big day. Four types of tomatoes made the jump from tiny cell packs to much larger peat pots so now they will be able to grow a big root system as we wait for warmer nights and soil. I also transplanted some rainbow chard seedlings to peat pots.

Tomorrow I hope to transplant golden chard seedlings and two or three more varieties of tomato to the larger peat pots. The sunspace is getting filled with dozens and dozens of plants. I'm hoping that by this time next week we will start getting warmer weather so that I can put them out during the day to harden off.

The zucchini seedlings have gotten so big that I may have to plant them out even if the weather is still cool. They are hardier than the tomatoes so it will be OK.

Dirty Blondes
A variation of a recipe by Jill O’Connor in Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey, Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder

2 1/2 cups mixed nuts – I used 1/2 cup of pecans plus two cups of a mixture that included salted peanuts, and walnut pieces
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons espresso powder
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Use cooking spray to lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Melt the butter and sugars together in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter and sugars are blended and completely melted and starting to bubble gently. Remove the pan from heat and let the mixture cool slightly.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and salt. Slowly whisk the cooled butter and sugar mixture into the eggs just until combined. Whisk in the flour and baking powder to form a loose batter. (Make sure the batter is cool before stirring in the remaining ingredients, otherwise the chocolate will start to melt before the bars are baked.)

Stir the nuts, coconut, espresso powder, and white and dark chocolate chips into the cooled batter. (I mixed all of the "mix-in" ingredients together in a very large measuring cup before adding to the batter. That way I knew that there wouldn’t be a clump of nuts here and a clump of white chocolate there, but rather a nice mix of all the goodies.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake until the top is shiny and slightly crackled and feels firm to the touch, 30 – 35 minutes. A wooden skewer inserting into the batter should come out with moist crumbs clinging to it. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature, then cut into bars and serve.

Makes 15 large or 30 small bars.


  1. Lol these look fabulous. Love the names you've come up with. I bet they would sell like hot cakes!
    Love the idea of adding a bit of espresso to counteract some of the sweetness. Delicious

  2. Your seedlings are be-yoo-tee-ful. We are just now getting the first fuzz of green teensy leaves on trees, and are feeling pretty gleeful. A few days of sun, and things are transformed. Here's hoping it lasts at least somewhat.

  3. Katie, The names are fun to create. I agree that the bitter coffee helps kill some of the sweetness...although these are still pretty sweet.

    Tanita, I wish I could give you some of the seedlings. I'm going to have far more than I can plant. Isn't the arrival of spring a constant miracle?

  4. Oooh, these sound dangerously delicious and addictive! I'll have to make some next week.

    And I love your label ideas; I can picture them in my head.

  5. Beth, They really are yummy so do make some and let me know how you like them. I can picture the labels, too, I just can't picture myself actually selling cookies.