9.23.2011

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

All I wanted to do was go camping one more time before the summer was over. That’s it. Was that too much to ask?

With an ever changing schedule at work, it’s next to impossible to have 2 days off in a row. Much less on a weekend. So finding time to squeeze in one more camping trip with Boyfriend was tough. But a couple weekends ago, I scored probably my only chance to get away for quite awhile. I begged Boyfriend to go camping at one of the state parks not too far outside town, even if it was just for 1 night. He agreed, as long as the weather would be decent. So naturally, it rained practically the entire week. But Friday was dry, and the weekend looked alright, with nothing major in the forecast. I crossed my fingers and stared out the window all day Saturday, just begging the sun to stick around. By mid-afternoon things were still looking good, so Boyfriend and I loaded the car and headed north for one last camping adventure!

I’ve been lulled into a false sense of security with every other camping trip we've taken. No crazy drama. No huge issues. Nothing other than the occasional raccoon. I had come to believe that the family curse of bringing on inclement weather by merely thinking about an outdoor activity had been broken. (Seriously. My whole life, we’ve never been able to do anything outside--camping, grilling, yardwork—without a previously perfect day turning into the storm of the century within minutes.) But of course, the streak had to end sometime.


What had been a good day went south the second we turned onto the main road of the park. Literally. Not even exaggerating when I say the exact instant! Turn signal on, and splat. The first raindrop hits the windshield. It slowed while we found our site, but by the time we got our tent set out and were attempting to put it up, the one little black cloud we saw while driving unleashed every bit of its fury on us. Sprinkles turned into a torrential downpour and our nice shady little area turned into a soggy mud puddle in about a minute and a half. And most of the puddle ended up inside the tent. Everything was soaked, including us, and all I could do was sit in the car and cry that my one last camping trip was ruined.

The most frustrating part of it all? It only rained on us. As we were driving out of the park towards town to get dinner (since we didn’t bother bringing food for 1 night), the road just instantly dried up at one point. It was literally like a line had been drawn across the road. One side wet, the other completely dry. Like a force field or something! By the time we got to town, we realized it hadn’t even rained anywhere else. Just our part of the park. It’s the curse, I'm telling you.

After the rain, the trip never seemed to get much better. Everything was soaked, so a fire was out of the question. No fire, no light, nothing to do. So we decided to just call it a night. At which point, our neighbors in the site closest to ours decided to get into an all out screaming match with each other. Yelling, cursing, the works. Awesome. Even though they finally shut up, I still didn’t sleep well because the trees we set our tent under kept dripping on us all night. By morning, I was cold, damp, and grumpy.


Boyfriend tried to cheer me up by taking me to Denny’s for breakfast, which worked, except when the table behind us was a total JERK to our waitress, practically attacking her, demanding to know how many orders were in front of them and how long it would take to get their food because they were in a hurry. He threatened that if our waitress couldn’t get their food out to them in 10 minutes, they were leaving--they hadn’t even ordered yet! Good luck getting a slice of TOAST in 10 minutes mister, much less a whole meal. Oh and btw. Look around you. See all those tables that don’t have food yet? That’s how many orders are in front of you. Hit the drive thru at McDonalds if you’re in that big of a hurry. Don’t come to a sit down restaurant on a Sunday if you’re on a schedule.

Needless to say, our last camping trip of the summer wasn’t quite what I hoped for. On top of the actual disaster of the trip, I came home totally sick with either severe allergies or a cold, I’m still not sure which. But it kicked my butt and made me miserable and snotty for nearly a week. Which is where these blondies came in. All I wanted after the weekend was to wrap up in a blanket, lay on the couch, and eat comfort food. Lots of it.

I’m a sucker for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. So throwing them into a peanut butter blondie? Sold. Plus, they’re fantastically simple. You don’t even need the mixer for these! From getting the ingredients out of the pantry to pulling the finished product out of the oven, these blondies take only about 40 minutes. And most of that is baking time. They come out moist, chewy, and perfectly peanut buttery-- total comfort food. And they're adapted from a Cooking Light recipe! So they might have been healthy at one point. (I'm sure throwing PB cups into it and eating an entire batch by yourself negates any healthy qualities of these, but it's nice to pretend.) They were just what I needed after a disaster of a week.



Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Adapted from Alida’s Kitchen and Cooking Light
Makes 16 blondies



1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
¼ to ½ cup chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or a combination of both
10 mini peanut butter cups, quartered (or 4 regular sized, coarsely chopped)

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 9x9 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2 inch overhang on either edge. Spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, butter, milk, vanilla, and eggs until smooth. Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Spread evenly to the sides and smooth top. Arrange chopped peanut butter cups over the top of the batter. Bake, until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Once cooled, lift blondies out of pan using the foil overhang and cut into squares.
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6 comments:

Aunt Kelley said...

I love reading your stories. You have talent! These blondies look yyyyuuuuummmmyyyyy. Will have to make them next time the kid comes home. Sorry about the camping trip :(

Sweet Seahorse said...

That sounds like a disastrous camping trip, maybe next time you could rent a cabin, then if it rains at least you'll be dry!
Those Peanut Butter Cup Blondies look absolutely divine. I have to admit I would be ready to cook some comfort food after a cold, wet, miserable experience like that.
My comfort food of choice at the moment is Nigella's Choc Mint Cookies, however I never get to the mint stage (which is the glaze). They get gobbled up pretty quick!
xXx Helen

Samantha said...

That guy at denny's sounds like a real jerk! Sorry it rained on your trip but at least these look delish!

The Mrs said...

Sorry camping didn't exactly pan out.

On the up side, the crumbs from these will look fabulous on my shirt!

Erinsgobragh said...

Those look awesome! Hope the bars made up for you bad trip. I just found you blog and am so loving it!

meemers said...

Oh dear bummer about the camping trip, will have to try those blondies, they look AH-mazing!!! Now if I could only get peanut butter cups in Malta. :)

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