White Chocolate and Peanut Butter Blondies

Peanut and Chocolate Blondies- meant to have white chocolate in but thanks to someone helping themselves they became dark chocolate ones instead!

Last Monday afternoon I got in from work and finished my jobs.  It was one of those afternoons where I had an urge to bake something.  It had to be something quick that I could sling together and chuck in the oven before disappearing off to collect my kids from school.

Brownies or blondies work well for me as I make them such a lot, you get it down to a fine art and they don’t take long to whip up and in the oven.  So, for this month’s Cooking The Books Challenge where I am baking a recipe from every chapter of Rachel Allen’s Bake, her recipe for White Chocolate and Peanut Butter Blondies would be just the ticket.  In the recipe introduction Rachel says “Fed up of brownies? Try blondies! These little squares are great on their own, eaten with ice cream they are simply sinful!”  Well we all need a pick me up or a little treat to help us get through life don’t we?

I looked in my baking cupboard knowing that I’d bought a packet of white chocolate chips a couple of weeks back and would have enough to go in the blondies.  But when I opened the cupboard.. they just weren’t there!  I can only put it down to my kids helping themselves! So frustrating, but I couldn’t prove who had took them! Luckily though I had a packet of dark chocolate chips and they would have to do instead!

To begin with I creamed some butter and crunchy peanut butter together in a large mixing bowl. When this was done I sifted some plain flour and bakingpowder in another bowl.  To the peanut butter bowl I added soft brown sugar, egg and some vanilla extract.  Finally in went the bag of chocolate chips.

As for the tin, I used the square one I always use for my brownies.  It’s a either a loose bottomed one I bought a few years back in Lakeland or one I bought at a Jamie At Home party which isn’t loose bottomed but still worked as well. Either tin always makes either 16 small square brownie bites or 12 large ones.  No problem again here, the dough went into the tin fine and 25-30 minutes later out it came after being baked in the oven at 170oC (electric fan oven here).

After about 1/2 hour’s cooling time I attempted to cut up the blondies and quickly hid them in a box in the cupboard away from my family.  They were going into work to share with my work colleagues and I thought if my family knew there were blondies about there wouldn’t be any left the next day.

I thought I’d got away with it as it was an afternoon when I was at home and my kids were still at school.  I had hidden the evidence but when we got in from the school run my daughter started sniffing when she came back in. She said “Have you been baking? I can smell chocolate!” My kids have baking radar but I lied and said she was imagining things!

The blondies cut up easily into 12 large pieces.
The blondies were packed up in a box and taken into work to share with my colleagues. They all disappeared by about lunchtime and everyone said they were delicious.

Cooking The Books- Update on November 2014’s Challenge.

Once again I’ve not been able to devote much time to blogging and another few weeks have slipped by.  Though that’s nothing new at this time of year for me.  I realised I’d not been able to stick at my Cooking The Books Challenge.  It’s been getting  more and more tricky to manage much baking at all, let alone cope with a book challenge!

But we’re nearly at the end of November and I wanted to have a go at SOMETHING.  So I looked on my bookshelves and found an old favourite bought back in 2008; Rachel Allen’s Bake.  I have used several recipes from this book in the past but wanted to dig it out again and have a go at some recipes I had missed out on. All I know my family would appreciate too, which is tricky. Also I thought there is no way I’m baking something that I wouldn’t get round to eating or my family would eat, just would be a waste of effort and money.

So what am I tempted to have a go at?  Remember, to complete the challenge I have to bake one thing from each chapter of the book.  Sadly I just know I won’t have time for that but will do as much as I can.

Here goes:

Sweet Mouthfuls: Lots of yummy bakes here to choose from but I know Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Blondies will go down well.

Cakes: I’ve always wanted to try baking a Kugelhopf after seeing Luis bake one on this year’s Great British Bake Off.

Puddings:My family love Chocolate Sponge puddings so we’re going to try the Chocolate Lava Cakes for one Sunday lunch dessert.

Breads and Savoury Bites: Not a lot of spare time to devote to savoury baking this week but if I do get some time I would love to bake some Paper Thin Crispbreads to have with dips when my mum comes to stay this weekend.

Tarts and Pies: We’re going to have a Chicken and Leek Pie for Sunday lunch when my mum stays.

Breakfast and Patisserie: Patisserie is something I’ve not very experienced in and nwould prefer to try new techniques when I have mopre time.  Instead I’ll stick to the good old muffins and make up the 30 Day Muffin batter. I’ll either make the muffins into apple and cinnamon or banana and maple syrup ones.

Baked Meals:  Loads to choose from here but I reckon the Simple Sausage and Bean Bake will be perfect for a quick and easy dinner one night this week.

Holiday and Celebration: For the final chapter here there is a huge selection to choose from again but I know my family would love the Festive Jam Cookie Sandwiches.

Not really much of a challenge for a fairly experienced baker like I am but then again I don’t have much time at the moment.  Let’s see what happens- watch this space!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx