Blondies

I really wanted to make grapefruit sandwich cookies for our trip to the wineries on Presidents Day, but my pink grapefruit started molding secretly on the bottom…. Instead I made blondies because I thought they would be fast and simple (after making Focaccia that same day). I had most of the ingredients on hand and substituted white chocolate chips for butterscotch chips. The batter was delicious so I had high expectations for the bars. Who knew I would have so many problems between mixing and baking.

I realized as I was about to stick the pan into the oven that the oven was only about 200* after preheating it for at least 15 minutes. I waited a little longer and tried to re-ignite it since it is an old gas stove/oven combo, but nothing happened, it just wasn’t working. At this point I got kind of upset – because it was getting late and I didn’t think the cookie bars would do well waiting overnight to be cooked. My husband suggested taking it to our friend’s house to make them but it was raining and I didn’t want to walk 7 blocks in the rain to make cookies. He must have thought my sad puppy face was worth looking into and decided to investigate. He is not usually mister fix it unless it involves the computer, but crouched down on the kitchen floor with a flashlight to see if he could find a problem. No ideas. Now I was even more sad that I could not bake my cookies and the oven might be broken, but decided to deal with, not bake anything and watch some episodes of 30 Rock. Somehow during this time Michael figured out that if the electric ignitor doesn’t have enough power it won’t light — and it so happened that the crazy space heater was sucking up so much power that this was the case. (The space heater also blows a fuse if we try and use the microwave at the same time as the tv or computer are on). So we turned off the heater, tried the oven, and heard that wonderful whoosh of gas + ignition.

I ended up baking the bars between midnight and 1am. They did something funny in the pan though. I think the baking soda reacted (after sitting in the pan for 2 hrs) and caused the cookies to be overly fluffy and bake unevenly to form a top and bottom crust with a gooey center. They didn’t look very pretty but tasted fine – people at work seemed to like them anyways. I’ll have to try it again now that I know about the oven’s struggle for power on cold rainy nights. I also didn’t have the heart to take a picture of the bars because they were ugly, so the only pics you get are of mixing and waiting period.

Tip: Check your oven soon after you preheat it – and don’t use space heaters…

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