dinner party blondies

I’m happy to report that our very first dinner party at our new apartment was a success!  I use the word “party” loosely since it was just Todd and I and his parents but, dinner party sounds much more fun than just plain dinner.

I snapped this picture while I was preparing dinner.  I love the colors all together, so pretty!

I made Lemon Fresh Summer Pasta  with grilled chicken and served it will watermelon and bread.  Nothing too fancy but it was just right for a casual meal outside on the deck.

The night was perfect for eating outside, that magical temperature where you don’t feel warm or cool.

For dessert we had the Pink Lemonade Cookies that I baked yesterday plus a second treat that I made last night, White Chocolate Chip Blondies.

I find a lot of recipes online but when I decided to make blondies, I did something crazy: I consulted a cookbook.

The Joy of Cooking was my book of choice and the recipe was great.  Easy peasy and it turned out deliciously.

Blondies from the Joy of Cooking

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease an 8×8 pan.  Whisk together thoroughly:

          1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour again, 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons)

          1/4 teaspoon baking powder

          1/4 teaspoon baking soda

          1/8 teaspoon salt

In a large heavy saucepan, melt, then boil, stirring constantly, until light golden brown, about 4 minutes:

          1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

Remove from heat and stir in until well-blended:

          2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

          1/4 cup sugar

Let cool until barely warm.  Stir in until well-combined:

          1 large egg

          1 large egg yolk

          1 tablespoon light corn syrup

          1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir in flour mixture and, if desired (I desired!):

1 cup chopped, toasted pecans, chocolate chips or 2/3 cup shredded coconut (I went with 1 cup of white chocolate chips but you could add in anything: Heath, chocolate chunks, butterscotch chips, peanut butter cups, anything you’d like!)

Scrape into pan.  Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.

These blondies are so delicious, even Todd was scarfing them down!  I can’t wait to try them with different mix-ins.

Do you normally get your recipes online or from a cookbook or family recipe?

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pink lemonade cookies a la kelly

Tonight we will host our first dinner guests since moving into the apartment, Todd’s parents!  In preparation, I spent a bit of time in the kitchen yesterday baking up some treats for dessert.  First on the docket, Kelly’s Pink Lemonade Cookies.  When I read her post a few weeks ago I knew that these summery cookies would be perfect for this dinner.

This recipe was easy to follow and only uses 6 ingredients – now that’s my kind of cookie!  If you’d like to try these yummy cookies, the recipe can be found on Laughter, Strength, and Food.

I followed Kelly’s recipe exactly except that I substituted in whole wheat flour because that’s all we have right now.  By the way, if you’re going to substitute in whole wheat for all-purpose flour, you can’t do a cup to cup equivalent.  The easiest conversion I’ve found is this: if the recipe calls for 1 cup of all-purpose you should use 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour.  Make sense?  I’ve used this conversion 3 or 4 times and it’s worked great.

Now back to the cookies.  They came out of the oven like this:

And after dressing them up a bit, they looked like this:

I happened to have some pink sugar sprinkles left from a Valentine’s long, long ago and they were the perfect thing to top the cookies with.  Don’t they remind you of candy buttons?

Even those these cookies are for dinner tonight I tried a few with a big glass of pink lemonade and they were so good and refreshing, the perfect summer cookie.

I was going to post about my other baking adventure but this post is getting lengthy so it will have to wait until later on.

Do you have any favorite summertime baked goods?

Did you bake anything tasty this weekend?