Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Recipe: Bunny Blondies (YUMMY!)

I absolutely love to bake.

Actually, now that I think about it, I don't know if it's so much that I love to bake or rather that I love to eat baked goods. But for all intensive purposes, I do love to spend time in the kitchen trying new recipes.

Yesterday I decided to whip up a batch of Bunny Blondies, a recipe I came across in the September 2012 issue of Family Fun Magazine. A recipe that promised a yummy, (mostly) wholesome snack that is literally packed with carrots. And butterscotch. I love butterscotch!

My daughter (now almost 3) helped me make the special treats. It took us about an hour and destroyed my kitchen, much like most of our from-scratch recipes do. But it was totally worth it.

Bunny Blondies are DELICIOUS. Take a spicy carrot cake and mix in a moist, butterscotch blondie and you've got a whole lot of bunny goodness.

And you know what? These things are so good, so easy to make and so ridiculously tempting that I considered not sharing the recipe at all. I imagined myself holding this one in the arsenal of amazing recipes and bringing them to all sorts of events, blushing at compliments like they were my own master creation. Like nobody else could ever make them as well again. Like I've got Paula Deen, butter queen herself, in my bloodlines.

But that just wouldn't be right. So here it is, the amazing recipe for Bunny Blondies. Enjoy!!

(Oh yea, and I left the walnuts out of ours. There are so many nut restrictions these days that it's usually better to see how the recipes turn out sans nuts first.)
See? They even look delicious.



 
 
 
 

Ingredients:
8 medium carrots (about 1lb)
2.5 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 sticks butter (softened) - it doesn't specify but I used unsalted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
Directions:
1. Place oven rack to center and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray.

2. Peel and trip the carrots using a box grater. (You want about 3 cups total.)

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt.

4. Using a mixer, blend butter with both sugars until pale and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and continue beating on medium speed until well blended. Reduce the mizer's speed to low and add the carrots. Mix in butterscotch chips and walnuts.

5. Gradually add flour mixture (the recipe says to do this with a wooden spoon, but I just slowly added it to the mixer). Pour batter into pan and spread evenly (it will be thick).

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway.

7. Let cool completely before serving. (Yea right, if you can wait that long!)



Disclaimer: This recipe is originally from Disney's Family Fun Magazine, by cookbook author and writer Kathy Kingsley. While I have no association with the magazine, I am a huge fan and do enjoy sharing a great recipe! 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review: Emily Giffin's Where We Belong

I have a love/hate relationship with nearly every Emily Giffin novel. Partially because her characters really come to life for you within her book (making it easy for you to either really really like them or not...) and partially because she seems to really dwell on the subjects of infidelity and lying, neither which are my cup of tea. That being said though, no matter the content I just can't seem to put her books down! And Where We Belong is no exception. Best book to date by this author who brings to life the real drama of awkward situations.

Marian and Kirby meet face to face for the first time after 18 years, unraveling an adoption story and an entire web of secrets. This novel trends back and forth between the two and their stories, and as only Emily Giffin does so well, everything comes full circle with a few surprising twists along the way.

I really enjoyed this book, and read through it in only a few short days. It was the type of story that made me sad to put away, because you feel like you actually get to know and like the characters. As with most of her books, they bring a wave of nostalgia as I read her scenes depicting Manhattan (my stomping grounds for a couple years post-college).

I'm giving this book a five star rating because of how readable it is. I enjoyed it and I couldn't put it down. That being said, I can see this book not sitting well with two very distinct groups of people: those who are in Marian's shoes and have given a baby up for adoption, and those who are in Kirby's shoes, desperately in search of some sort of belonging because they were adopted. While the story is really nice, I imagine that compared to a lot of the true adoption/birth family stories that it's a lot of fluff. Unfortunately.

I do appreciate that Giffin painted a portrait of pro-life in this novel. I really hope that she has another book that continues with these characters. I'm dying to know what happens with Marian, Conrad, and Kirby! You hear that Emily Giffin? There had better be a sequel!

Check out Emily Giffin on Facebook.