best ever peanut butter blondies

You guys, I have no idea what’s gong on! The last two times I attempted to make Brownies have ended in utter disaster, and by that I mean undercooked or otherwise inedible brownies, yuck. That’s just bad. But I think there is a way to redeem myself. Maybe if I reverse direction and make the best ever Blondies, I can successfully make a return to the dark side.

best peanut butter blondies | sagebrousseau.com

peanut butter blondies | sagebrousseau.com

Best Ever Peanut Butter Blondies

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and light brown sugar. Mix thoroughly. Add in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix in the peanut butter and make sure all of the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  4. Add in the salt, baking powder, and flour.
  5. Add batter to the baking pan and spread out evenly with a rubber spatula.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

best peanut butter blondies | sagebrousseau.com

best peanut butter blondies | sagebrousseau.com

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Girl Scout cookie Thin Mints cake pops

I’ve reinterpreted everyone’s favorite Girl Scout Cookie into everyone’s other favorite thing– cake pops!

Thin Mints Cake Pops | sagebrousseau.com

Sorry for the lag in posts here, I’ve been buried up to my neck in this lovely Boston snow. But in between shoveling sessions, I’ve whipped up this little post to celebrate the only good thing about February: it’s Girl Scout cookie season!

Thin Mints Cake Pops

  • 1 Box chocolate cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 x 9 cake)
  • 1 (16 oz.) Can chocolate frosting
  • ¼ tsp. Peppermint extract
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • White chocolate chips (or white candy melts)
  • Green sugar sprinkles
  • Lollipop sticks (or popsicle sticks)
  1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
  2. Add all the frosting to the bowl, and peppermint extract. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet (approximately 45-50 balls).
  4. Place in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
  5. In a small bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave at 30 sec intervals, stirring in between, until melted.
  6. Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted chocolate coating and insert (a little less than halfway) into the cake balls.
  7. Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the chocolate coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and gently tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off.
  8. Place in a styrofoam block to dry.
  9. Place about ¼ cup of white chocolate chips into a zip-lock baggie and microwave for 20 second intervals, until melted. Squish the bag with your fingers to mix and smooth the chocolate between intervals. When melted smooth, snip a tiny piece off of the corner of the bag and drizzle over pops.
  10. Sprinkle green sugar over pops while white drizzle is still wet.
  11. ENJOY!pops2

homemade ketchup? yes, please.

I hate to admit this, but my seven-year-old has recently entered the stage of all foods must be dipped in ketchup in order for me to eat this.

DIY ketchup | sagebrousseau.com

I pick my battles, so I go with it, the only problem was when we ran out of ketchup… this was an emergency situation! I did a quick Google search and learned that making my own ketchup was relatively fast and easy and I had all the ingredients on hand. Ketchup-crisis averted.

At first, I was skeptical. Would it taste as good as the brand I’ve always bought? Would it pass muster with the picky eater? To my surprise, homemade tastes far better than store-bought ketchup, and my child-tester LOVED it! Score! I haven’t bought any ketchup since.

DIY ketchup | sagebrousseau.com

Here’s my recipe for the best ketchup you’ll ever try (bonus: no high-fructose corn syrup):

DIY Ketchup

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • ½ teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cups water

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat. Simmer, stirring frequently to avoid spattering, for 20 to 30 minutes or until desired consistency. Adjust the flavors as necessary, you can add up to another tablespoon of sugar or a little more worcestershire sauce to get the taste you desire. Serve and enjoy!

P.S.: Happy New Year, I hope your 2015 is happy and healthy so far! I’ve been down and out with a massive cold, but now I’m back.

take-out at home: fried rice

I was never really a fan of the typical Chinese take-out fried rice. But this is now one of my go-to recipes when I want something fast and yummy.

Fried rice with eggBelieve me, I love the ease of take-out, now and then. But sometimes, making your take-out faves from scratch is as easy as picking up the phone (and even tastier). You only need a few simple ingredients, some of these things you might already have in your fridge…

fried_rice_ing… and there’s little, to no skill involved. I’ve adapted this recipe from one of Martha Stewart’s, but I think mine is better (don’t tell her)!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 thick slice ham (8 ounces), cut into strips
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger (pro tip: I buy grated ginger in a tube found in the produce section)
  • 1 cup shelled edamame (thawed, if frozen)
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 large eggs

Directions:

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add ham, scallion whites, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add rice, scallion greens, edamame, vinegar, and soy sauce. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Divide fried rice among four serving bowls.
  3. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Gently crack eggs into skillet; season with salt, and cook until whites are set, 2 to 4 minutes. Top each bowl of rice with a fried egg. Garnish with scallions.

Enjoy!