While perusing the culinary blogosphere yesterday, I read about Use Real Butter's adaptation of Smitten Kitchen's Blondie recipe, taken from Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything (which I will certainly have to pick up when I am back in the States). The pictures and uncomplicatedness (did I just make up a word??) of the recipe made me eager to bake a batch. Plus, we were out of sweet stuff to eat. The only ingredient I was missing was an egg, so I hopped off like a spring bunny to the store and bought a bag of lovely brown eggs. I decided to add chopped milk chocolate, toasted walnuts, and some peanut butter, just to make them more sinfully delicious.
They bake for only 25 minutes and take half as much sugar and butter as cookies. In addition, I don't have to keep traipsing back to the kitchen to scoop and bake batch after batch of cookies. This is my new favorite!!
Out of the oven, they were warm and brown, so of course I couldn't resist cutting out the corner. The bite was chewy and toothsome with nuts and chocolate, and--get this--tasted like cookie dough! Like when you have a bowl of cookie dough and you can't resist scooping spoonfuls into your mouth but you have that guilty feeling because of the raw egg and depriving everyone of freshly baked cookies because you're eating all the dough... No more!
And, as if they couldn't get more salivating, they taste like Hello Dollies, those butter and sweetened condensed milk laden bar cookies that have like 8,000 calories per slice. I think the melted butter and brown sugar almost caramelize so they have a tang of butterscotch.
I'd have to agree that, in this case, blonds do have more fun, but I am sure that I will be back craving brownies in no time.
If I could eat dessert for dinner, I would. However, I bought a nice whole fryer chicken at the grocery store. This was the first time I saw a whole chicken that had some plump to her (though not like those Plump N Juicy chickens). As an extra bonus, she had already been decapitated, saving me that painful step. Most of the time, ducks and chickens are sold with their heads. I suppose so you can be sure you're getting a real fowl, since so many things in China are fake. I have to admit that I am not quite brave enough to take a cleaver to a chicken neck and Turner wasn't home to do the job.
Is a chicken butt joke really even necessary?
I did however take a cleaver to the breast bone to butterfly her because I didn't want to spend the extra time cooking her whole. Here comes the magic part ... I laid the two halves in a baking dish on top of a few slices of day old my homemade French bread. This served two purposes: one, preventing the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pan; two, creating quasi-stuffing as it soaks all the juices and flavor from the roasting chicken. I also scattered the cloves from a head of garlic around the bird.
After about an hour in the oven, I threw some cherry tomatoes in to roast for about 20 more minutes. (This cooking time could have been shortened as the breast meat was a little dry.) The chicken came out golden with crispy skin and smelling divine.
Even though the chicken was tasty, the best part was the bread from underneath. One side was all crisp and brown and the other was soft. It was soaked with the chicken juices (a.k.a. fat) and the sage, thyme, oregano, and salt that I seasoned the chicken with.
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