Pepperoni Pizza Toasties

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Today is a very happy day. Why? Because it’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day, woohoo! This month I was assigned Annie’s Noms. Annie is the beautiful lady behind this baking-centric, UK-based blog. Annie lives in the UK with her adorable boyfriend, where they split the kitchen duties: she bakes, he cooks.

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Though Annie successfully obtained a degree in interior design, her heart belongs to baking. She blogs full-time, and has filled her page with insanely scrumptious, delectable baked treats. So of course, contrarian that I am, I had to pick one of the savory recipes on her site.

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These little pepperoni pizzas are simple, familiar (flavor-wise), and yet they couldn’t be more delicious. They are so cute, so easy to eat (maybe too easy!), and surprisingly addictive. Annie originally wrote this recipe for the oven, but I ended up grilling them. It was 78 F and sunny without a cloud in the sky. I mean, really, what choice did I have?

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Either way will work just fine, and I’ll include directions for both methods. Enjoy these, guys! And be sure to check out Annie’s fantastic blog!

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Source: adapted from Annie’s Noms

Ingredients:
1 loaf Italian bread, sliced about 1-2 inches thick, on a diagonal (to get more bread surface per toast)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
6 oz. melty cheese, such as cheddar, low-moisture mozzarella, or fontina, shredded
About half a package of pepperoni slices

Directions:
Pour the tomato sauce into a small saucepan. Add the Italian seasoning, plus salt and pepper to taste. Warm on medium-low to low heat. Don’t let it boil, you just want it warm.
OVEN METHOD: preheat your oven to 400 F (or 200 C). Lay the bread slices on a baking sheet (use 2 if necessary). Toast the bread in the oven for just a few minutes; this is just to avoid the bread getting soggy with the toppings.
Remove the bread from the oven and spoon about a tbs of tomato sauce on each toast. Top with a nice pinch of cheese and spread it evenly. Lay 2-3 pepperoni slices per toast on top of the cheese. Bake 7-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove and serve immediately.
GRILL METHOD: make a 2-zone fire, with one side a bit hotter than the other. Working in batches if necessary, grill the toasts on one side until nicely toasted, about 3 minutes on the hot side. With tongs, remove to a plate, flipping them as you move them, so the toasted side is facing up on the plates. Add the tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni as instructed for the oven method. Carefully add them back to the hot zone, for 2-3 minutes. Make sure you’re not burning them. If the cheese has melted, then remove the toasts to a plate. If the cheese isn’t completely melted, then move the toast to the less-hot zone of the grill and leave them there for a few more minutes, until they are nicely melted. Remove to a plate and serve.


Mango Peanut Slaw #SundaySupper

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Happy Sunday Supper everyone! Today’s theme is Summer BBQ Party – a wonderful theme since I think we can all agree that summer bbq parties (or summer cook-outs, whichever nomenclature you prefer) are one of the most fun things ever. Growing up, such parties were a fixture on the calendar. Sometimes my parents were hosting, sometimes we were guests, but it seemed like there was one on the schedule almost every weekend of the summer. And they’re such a blast.

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I chose to make this delicious side dish for three reasons: 1) coleslaw of some kind is a summer bbq staple everywhere; 2) seeing as this is Asian-flavored, it’s a little bit outside the box for your typical American summer bbq, which appealed to me; and 3) it uses mangos, which are beautifully in season in my area right now, and I’m trying to use up all the summer produce I can, while I still can.

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But I’m actually trying to use all that summer produce in some savory dishes for once. I usually bake desserts or sweet breakfast goods with it, which is always delicious, of course. But this summer I wanted to challenge myself to find more savory uses for this luscious summer produce. Not that there won’t also be sweets on the blog this summer. I mean, please…

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So y’all enjoy this delicious, spicy, summer-bbq-worthy slaw, and do not forget to check out all the loveliness from my Sunday Supper gang! Enjoy!

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Source: adapted from Man Made Meals by Steven Raichlen

Ingredients:
2 generous tbs sambal chile paste, or to taste
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3 tbs sugar
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup Asian fish sauce or soy sauce
1 small (about 1 lb.) head green cabbage
1 ripe mango
18 slender green beans (hericots verts)
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts, salted or unsalted

Directions:
First make the dressing: in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sambal, garlic, sugar, black pepper, and fish sauce. Set aside.
Split the cabbage into quarters, and core each section. Thinly slice it with a sharp knife, or I prefer a mandoline slicer. Peel and pit the mango, then slice it into thin strips. To the bowl with the dressing, add the cabbage, mango, green beans, and cilantro. Toss well to combine. Garnish with the peanuts and serve.

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Sides and Accompaniments

Main Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Spicy Mango Ice Pops + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Here we are – the final day of my giveaway! There’s still time to enter to win a copy of The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman!

I’ve been very impressed with it. This is the fourth recipe I’m sharing from the book, and it is so ridiculously easy, and healthy, and delicious (of course).

When you take your first lick or bite (whichever team you belong to) of these ice pops, the first thought you’re going to have is, “pfft, these aren’t spicy. I can’t even taste the cayenne.” It’s okay. Just wait. Keep working on the ice pop. It’ll get there. Oh, trust me. It’ll get there.

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The spicy part is what we like to call a slow build-up. At first you don’t notice it, then there’s a tiny, little pop of heat, then there’s the background heat – kind of like it’s only in the after-taste. Then you get it, on every single bite.

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That said, these are quite tasty. They are very thick, and the only sweet part is the sweetness from the mango itself. So, perfect for those without much of a sweet tooth. They actually remind me of the ice pops my mom would make us growing up. She never divulged this until later, but often she would just pour orange juice into the molds and freeze them, or just puree a fruit like strawberries and freeze that into molds, with no added sugar at all. We never figured it out…

Be sure you enter the giveaway by 5 pm EST!! I can’t wait for one of you lovelies to win this wonderful book!!!

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Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
2 cups chopped mango
2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
Pinch of kosher salt
¼ tsp cayenne, or more to taste

Directions:
Add all the ingredients to your blender, plus about ¼ cup water. Puree until very smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add more water, 1 tbs at a time, if it’s too thick and isn’t cooperating.
Spoon the mixture into your ice pop molds and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Enjoy!

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Chicken Stir-Fry in Lettuce Cups + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Alright, guys – my giveaway is ending tomorrow at 5 pm EST! Get yourself entered to win my excess copy of “The VB6 Cookbook” by Mark Bittman! I’ve been showing you recipes from the book all week, and this one is a real gem in the flavor department.

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For anyone unfamiliar with Bittman’s story, I’ll summarize it quickly for you: a few years ago he found himself at his doctor’s office, not insignificantly overweight and with his blood test numbers (cholesterol, blood sugar) on the high side. His doctor told him he needed to make some major changes to his overall diet, which initially didn’t sound too appealing to Bittman. I mean, the guy has a career in food. So after some research and pondering the situation quite a bit, Bittman decided he could compromise on his diet: before 6 pm (dinnertime) he eats vegan, with no refined sugar or flour. After 6 pm, he can eat whatever he wants, but he does try to keep things on the leaner side (most of the time).

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So the recipes in this book are presented as vegan breakfasts, vegan lunches, vegan snacks, non-vegan dinners, and then desserts. Today I’m sharing a non-vegan dinner, one that Matt and I absolutely loved. I love stir-fries anyway, but this one really endeared itself me to it when it used chicken thighs, which I adore, but I’ll tell ya – that sriracha mayo is what really makes it. That was so delicious.

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I hope y’all will enjoy this one! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway, and this book could be yours – there’s still some time!

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Source: slightly adapted from The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
1 head of bibb or Boston lettuce
2 tbs vegetable oil
About 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs minced fresh ginger
1 bunch scallions, whites and green parts separated, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
¼ lb. sugar snap peas or snow peas, chopped
½ lb. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
¼ cup chicken stock or water
2 tbs soy sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tbs sriracha, or to taste

Directions:
Core the lettuce and separate it into as many individual leaves as possible. Rinse and wrap them in towels. Refrigerate until needed.
Put a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbs oil, swirl it around, and immediately add the chicken. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Cook undisturbed until the pieces brown and can be stirred easily without sticking. Stir the chicken around to start cooking the other sides, then add the garlic and ginger. Stir frequently until the chicken is no longer pink and the veggies have softened, about 3-5 minutes total. Transfer the chicken mixture to a plate. Set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tbs oil to the wok or skillet along with the white parts of the scallions, and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to avoid burning, until they turn golden, 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining veggies except for the scallions greens. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
Return the chicken mixture to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Now add the stock, soy sauce and scallion greens. Cook and stir about 1 more minute, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. If it isn’t saucy at all, add a touch more stock to help it out. But remember, you are putting this in a lettuce cup you’ll be eating with your hands, so it may be unpleasant to have the stir-fry be too liquid-y. I found mine was perfect without adding any extra.
Turn the heat to very low and let it hang out a minute while you make the mayonnaise. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lime juice and sriracha together until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more hot sauce if desired.
To serve, gently fill a lettuce cup with stir-fry, then drizzle the mayonnaise on top, as liberally or as conservatively as your desire. Eat immediately or the lettuce gets soggy.

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Chipotle Pinto Bean Dip with Jicama “Chips” + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Welcome back! This week I am giving away my surprise excess copy of Mark Bittman’s The VB6 Cookbook! And each day of blogging, I’m sharing a delicious recipe from the book, to give you a taste of what you’ll be getting if you win. The giveaway goes on until Friday at 5 pm EST, and you can enter at the bottom of this post – don’t miss out!

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Yesterday I shared his insane Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs – totally vegan, and beyond delicious. I was in awe. Today I’m sharing one of the snacks chapter recipes. I have a huge weakness for bean dips, and they are super easy to make at home. Being from Texas, Frito scoops are quite common and popular for use as a dipper. Tasty? Oh yes. Healthy? Ummm, not really.

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So I was incredibly pleased to see Bittman’s take on what the heck we should be using to scoop up creamy, spicy bean dip. He had several, but the idea that really jumped out at me was jicama. Jicama! Yes! Why didn’t I ever think of that? Jicama is perfect for bean dips. It’s crispy, it’s sturdy, and it’s commonly used in Mexican or Tex-Mex cooking, so it doesn’t feel out of place at all. I am seriously doing this again.

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A quick warning about the bean dip: you can use one chipotle in adobo or two. It will surprise no one that I used two, and I can assure you it is super spicy that way. If you’re not into the heat, definitely use only one! enjoy!

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Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz.) cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 cup packed cilantro sprigs
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1-2 chipotle in adobo, plus a little bit of the adobo sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large jicama, peeled and sliced into discs, like chips

Directions:
Put all the ingredients except the scallions and jicama into your blender. Puree until very smooth, adding water if it’s too thick and not completely cooperating.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Transfer the dip to a bowl and garnish with the scallions. Serve with the jicama “chips” for dipping.

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Eggplant and White Bean Meatballs + A Cookbook Giveaway!!!

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Thanks to a snafu with my local post office and a generous Amazon customer service agent, I wound up with two copies of The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman. So I’m giving away my extra copy to one of my lucky readers! The giveaway will run all week, until Friday, July 18, 2014 at 5 pm Eastern, and each day that I blog until Friday, I’ll be featuring a recipe from this wonderful book!

First up we have these amazing vegan meatballs. When I say these were amazing, I’m not joking. At all. For full disclosure, I’ll freely admit I was a little wary of these. I’d never before had meatballs that didn’t contain meat or at least poultry or fish. So there was a touch of trepidation at how they would taste, whether I’d screwed them up, etc, etc.

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I needn’t have worried one bit. They were so insane. Matt ate seconds the night I served them, and we argued over who was to get the last container of leftovers. They are that good.

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Whether you are vegan or not, or occasionally vegan, or whatever: try these meatballs – I guarantee you’ll make them again and again. And like any kind of meatballs, they are flexible. I served them simply, just in a bowl with some marinara (someone might have been too lazy to make pasta that night), but they would be so delicious over pasta or in a meatball sub.

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And stay tuned for three more VB6 Cookbook recipes! You can enter to win a copy of this lovely book in the rafflecopter below.

Source: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
3 tbs olive oil
1 lb. eggplant, unpeeled, cut into cubes no larger than 1 inch
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
1 cup cooked or canned white beans
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup breadcrumbs
Pinch of crushed red chile flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Use 1 tbs olive oil to grease a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
Add 1 tbs olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the eggplant and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl of a food processor.
Add the remaining 1 tbs olive oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic. Return to medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain the beans (also rinse them if using canned). Add the beans and parsley to the food processor bowl with the eggplant and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not completely pureed.
Transfer the eggplant mixture to a large bowl and add the onion and garlic mixture, along with the bread crumbs, chile flakes, and oregano. Mix to combine well.
Make sure your hands are clean and get them wet. Roll the mixture into meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter. You’ll wind up with between 12 and 16 meatballs. You will likely need to rewet your hands between each meatball or every other meatball.
As you form them, place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Bake undisturbed until they are firm and well browned, 20 to 30 minutes (start checking after 20 minutes, though you may need longer).
Meanwhile, warm the marinara sauce; and this is when you would cook pasta or toast hoagie rolls if desired.
Serve the meatballs with the marinara in a bowl, or in whatever other fashion you desire.

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Toffee Brownies

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So here I am at last, sharing the final brownie recipe for my themed Blondies and Brownies week. The anal-retentive part of me needed to get two blondies recipes plus two brownies recipe up on the blog, to make the title of the themed week accurate. I hadn’t been calling it Blondies and Brownie week, though as of Friday afternoon, that’s pretty much what it was.

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No, I have to make the plural tense accurate. And what better way to do that than with Toffee Brownies? Personally, I can’t think of anything….

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So, these are amazing. Of course. I’m a toffee fiend, and I know I’m not even remotely alone.

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Oh, and these brownies are intensely chocolate-y. They are super-rich and not too sweet. In short, they are a wonderful little snack or dessert for all you chocolate and toffee lovers, and they’re pretty easy to make, too. I hope y’all will enjoy them!

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Source: Down South by Donald Link

Ingredients:

BROWNIES:
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 tbs unsalted butter
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup plus 2 tbs canola oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 (8 oz.) packages of Heath bar or toffee bits (about 3 cups)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

ICING:
6 tbs unsalted butter
1 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup plus 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
To make the BROWNIES: preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13” baking pan and set aside.
Pour ½ cup plus 2 tbs of boiling or really, really hot water into a 1-cup measuring cup. Add the cocoa powder and whisk vigorously to combine. Set aside.
Set up a double boiler, or a makeshift one of a glass bowl atop a saucepan of simmering water, and add the butter and the chocolate. Let them both melt, and whisk until smooth when done. When smooth, whisk in the cocoa powder mixture.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture. Add the flour and salt and gently whisk to combine. Stir in 2 ½ cups toffee chips and the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Use a rubber spatula to transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, about 40 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan before icing.
Meanwhile, make the ICING: in a double boiler (or a makeshift double boiler), add the butter and both chocolates. Melt them together and whisk until smooth. Add the sour cream and sugar, and whisk vigorously until all is combined and very smooth. Set the icing aside in a cool place and let it rest at least 1 hour, until it becomes thick and spreadable.
When the brownies and icing are ready, pour the thick icing on the top of the brownies and use a butter knife or an offset spatula to evenly spread the icing all over the brownies. Evenly sprinkle the remaining ½ cup toffee chips over the icing. Cut into squares and serve.

Piña Colada Blondies

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Our week of Blondies and Brownies has really gotten away from me, but I’m doing my darnedest to seize it back under my relative control. Which means that I’m really hoping to bring you one more brownies recipe this weekend. Meanwhile, we shall not fret, because we have Piña Colada Blondies. Oh yes.

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These so remind me of my and Matt’s weekend getaway to the Bahamas earlier this summer. It was so wonderful and so NEEDED!! We spent a few glorious days doing nothing on the beach, trying to avoid sunburn (I failed), reading for pleasure (did you know that Henry VIII beheaded two of his wives?), and swimming in that perfect turquoise water.

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I booked this trip for us with the aim of just relaxing on a nice beach, and wasn’t really thinking about the food part too much. Which is unusual for me, I admit. But, food people that we are, we still managed to find some good grub. Our favorite eating spot was this little hole-in-the-wall Italian place, which was run by actual Italians, and could we transport it to NYC’s Little Italy neighborhood, it would drastically improve the place.

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I think my other favorite part of the trip was the guy who roamed the beach selling fresh piña coladas in actual coconuts. He cracked the tops of the coconuts with his machete, then mixed the drink with fresh fruit and local Bahamian rum, added some ice and a cute straw, and off you went to sip it on the beach. Heaven!

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So these lovely little blondies will serve as a reminder of a fun, relaxing travel memory. Oh, and of course they are delicious, too. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet

Ingredients:
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c butter, melted, cooled
1 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tbs rum, divided
2 tbs pineapple juice, divided
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c shredded coconut

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 8″ x 8″ pan. Set aside.
In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and set aside to cool in room temperature.
In the meantime, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar. Add egg, 1 tbs rum, and 1 tbs pineapple juice. Whisk until all smooth.
Slowly add the dry ingredients. Whisk until all is well combined.
Fold in the coconut with a rubber spatula.
Combine the remaining tbs of rum and pineapple juice in a small bowl. Scrape the batter into prepared pan. Brush the top gently with the rum and pineapple juice. You’ll have some leftover; do not discard it.
Bake the blondies for 25-28 minutes. As soon as you remove them from the oven, brush the remaining rum and pineapple juice on the tops of the blondies while still very warm. Let cool completely, then cut into squares to serve.
Those bars are the best eaten the same day as baked. Store in air-tight container.

Milk Chocolate Brownies

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Alright, this is Blondies and Brownies week, so I need to make good on my promise and give y’all some brownies!

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{Why yes, Matt and I are those people who sneak off the edge of the brownies before I’ve photographed them!}

So, here’s a confession: I’m not a chocoholic, though I do thoroughly enjoy chocolate in moderation. But I usually do not care for milk chocolate. I much prefer bittersweet or semi-sweet for baking (or eating straight, for that matter). Milk chocolate is a little too sweet for me. So it is *only* because these milk chocolate brownies come from a trusted source that I was even willing to try them.

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But, I’m so happy that I did try them, because they are incredibly delicious! Even though I trust this recipe’s author (Jennie), I was still hesitant to take my first bite; I mean, I really don’t care for milk chocolate, y’all. But I loved them. They are extremely rich and fudgy, but not too sweet at all, which is my chief complaint about milk chocolate. The brownie texture was just perfect, and it got that crackly top that makes me so giddy.

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I will highly recommend these to all the brownie and chocolate lovers out there, even if you’re like me and don’t gravitate toward milk chocolate. These just might be your milk chocolate exception, like they are mine. Enjoy!

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Source: slightly adapted from In Jennie’s Kitchen

Ingredients:
6 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs granulated sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan. Grease one side of the parchment, and fit it (ungreased side down) into the pan. Set aside.
Add the chocolate and butter to a double boiler (or a glass bowl set atop a small pan of simmering water – make sure the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl). Let them both melt, then stir to smooth and combine. Add the vanilla extract, and stir to combine; set aside to cool slightly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.
Add the eggs and sugar to a clean, large bowl. Whisk until they become thick and pale yellow, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly to the sides. You can give the pan a tap on the counter to help it settle, too. Bake for 30 minutes until the center is set and the edges gently pull slightly away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely before cutting. (Sorry).

Marcona Almond Blondies

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Welcome to another themed week on the blog! This week will feature Blondies and Brownies! I realized that in all this time blogging I’ve posted ONE blondie recipe and ONE brownie recipe. Ouch. I think we need a little more diversification, so hopefully this week will be a good step forward in correcting that.

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I’ve never been secretive about the fact that I prefer blondies over brownies, so we’ll start with perhaps some of the best blondies I’ve ever tasted. Marcona almonds are these amazing little Spanish almonds that are pretty easy to find in grocery stores these days, what with the whole Spanish cuisine craze that took over maybe eight to ten years ago, and they are really incredible tasty.

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I had some left over from this oh so delicious salad, and knew I wasn’t going to waste even one almond; so big thanks to Food & Wine for coming to my rescue and alerting me to the fact that Marcona almonds are a perfect addition to blondies! And thanks to Iron Chef Jose Garces for creating and submitting the recipe.

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You could certainly sub in regular almonds for the Marconas, but I highly recommend tracking the Marcona almonds down. They’re just…. better. The end. Enjoy!

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Source: adapted from Food & Wine

Ingredients:
10 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup sliced or slivered regular almonds
Drizzle of canola oil
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 1/2 large eggs, lightly beaten (to get the right amount, crack 1 egg into a small bowl, beat until uniform, then pour half out; then crack the remaining 2 eggs into the bowl and beat all together)
1/2 tbs pure vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup marcona almonds, chopped
3/4 cups plus 2 tbs chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325º. Grease an 8×8″ metal baker and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat until golden brown. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, 30 minutes.
Add the regular almonds and a drizzle of canola oil to a mini food processor. Process until you have almond butter (alternately, if you can find almond butter in your grocery store, use 1/4 cup of that and skip this step.)
Add the sugar, eggs, almond butter, vanilla, salt and cinnamon to the butter and whisk until smooth. Stir in the flour, then fold in the Marcona almonds and the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with an offset or a nonstick spatula.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the blondies cool completely before cutting.