fat free opinions on a food centric life

Tag: Cardamom

Cranberry Apricot Almond Sweet Bread Twist

Cranberry Apricot Almond Sweet Bread Twist

  I hope this finds you well in spite of recent sobering events we are all trying to make sense of — if that is even possible.   I’m working to find inspiration in the most unlikely places and grasp tightly, acknowledging feelings of guilt for […]

Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake with Apricots and Pistachios

Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake with Apricots and Pistachios

It’s been a year since I’ve posted a Daring Baker challenge, and I’m hanging my head over it.  Actually, I’ve just crawled out from under the rock where I’ve been hiding.   Last March, the delicious Citrus Tian Dessert made with blood oranges and California […]

Roundies:  Almond Blondies

Roundies: Almond Blondies

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I haven’t made brownies for a very long time.

Years.

Years as in, when my grown boys were very, very young.  I suppose that after countless results of either raw in the middle crunchy on the outside, or serious qualifiers for hockey puck status, I gave up.  Bear in mind that even box brownie mixes were beyond my ability.  Thinking about this after my eighth or tenth failure, I decided that it just didn’t matter — there were plenty of other chocolate goodies I could make quite successfully.  Some people have yeast phobias; I am a bonafide brownie flunky.

My avoidance could only last so long, however, when the sheer number of brownie recipes made with every variation imaginable are plastered all over the web — taunting me —  reminding me that everyone else seems to be gifted in the brownie making department.  Read:  I was the last person chosen for the kickball team.  Let’s face it.  I’d been jinxed, so that meant I needed to take a different approach in solving this dilemma.

I’d make blondies.  They look the same as brownies minus color, of course, chew the same, and also have quite a number of variations on a theme available to experiment with.  If I could pull off a nice blondie, then it just might pave the way for passable brownies.  And if I’m successful with the blondies, then I might be able to make my own rendition of a dessert I recently saw in a magazine:  chunks of brownies, fresh fruit, and cream all piled artfully in a cup.

And then I discovered Elizabeth Franken and Demolition Desserts.  Her blondies are, well, blondies, and they appear in a luscious combo of chocolate and ice cream.  At some point in her book in a completely different recipe, there’s fruit and a syrup that is heavenly.  I had the gelato, so splendor in a glass was born, and faith in my ability to bake your basic-baked-chewable-squares-no-matter-what-color-type-treat was given a very welcome reprieve.

It’s all water under the bridge, but perhaps now, I can produce a passable brownie.  I’m thinking the key is to have a completely different purpose in mind for them from the get go than to just cut them in squares and slate them for the inevitable teeth sinking occasion.

I don’t know what I’d call what I ended up with, but it was truly amazing.  Blondies and beyond?

Maybe.  But you have to wait for the end result.

All you get now is Roundies — or Almond Blondies.  Good blondies, but still.

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Pastry Ring with Dark Chocolate and Cardamom

Pastry Ring with Dark Chocolate and Cardamom

One of the techniques I’ve shied away from has been making puff pastry.  Although I can be fairly tenacious, when I feel like I’ve worked diligently on something and it doesn’t turn out, I’m not willing to jump back to the task to get it […]

Glazed Crumb Cake with Cardamom and Pecans

Glazed Crumb Cake with Cardamom and Pecans

We weren’t snackers or dessert eaters when I was growing up, so the idea of crumb cake didn’t occur to me until I had my first job fresh out of high school working in a grocery store when I was 17.  They came individually wrapped, […]