Chasing Delicious | Molasses Blondies
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Molasses Blondies

Brisk air fills a cold, dimly-lit room. Layers of warm, freshly washed blankets are pulled up and wrapped around a lethargic body. The buzz of a phone vibrating, sliding on a night stand falls on deaf ears as a snoozed alarm ceases to call out in the silent room. Rays of golden light peaking through poorly closed blinds showcase a ballet of dancing dust; their beams poke and prod at tightly closed eyes. Desires for one more dream and lingering moments in a warm bed turn one snooze into many. An alarm is turned off.

Rays of light become more persistant. Sleeping in begins to lose its appeal. I sit up, keeping the warm blankets wrapped tightly around my cozy body. I trade closed eyes and surreal dreams for old pages and favorite stories. Pages pull me into a familiar story as the morning flows by without a thought of responsibility, tasks or to-dos.

I brave the cold air and leave my warm sanctuary only once to fetch coffee and a morning treat. Too lazy to make eggs and bacon or a short stack of pancakes, I reach for my guilty pleasure, dessert from last night. Sitting, begging underneath a glass dome is a stack of molasses blondies. Cross sections of chopped walnut stand out against the golden caramel colored blocks. I snatch a couple to take with me back to my bed. A second thought, a desire to spend the day relaxing and reading, has me grab the rest of the blondies–just in case.

Just two years ago, a day spent in bed reading would be the last thing on my mind. Being the a-type I am, I saw college as a chance to not only support the causes I loved but to stand out from the rest–in true American fashion it became a competition between me and my a-type friends. They sat on a student organization board; I sat on two and a faculty council board. They chaired a student-rights committee; I chaired three. They interned at a media company; I led PR & marketing for Apple’s higher education sales at UT and ran the gay-night at an Austin bar. They ran against me for President of the Comm School’s largest organization and won; So I founded  Texas’ first gay fraternity and soon my biography was published in Philip Gambone’s Travels in a Gay Nation.  Somehow I still managed to throw some killer parties in West Campus–mostly out of necessity to stay sane.

My life was Party Monster meets Wall Street–minus the crookery, murder and jail time.  In college, my work ethic looked like this: 18 hours of work each day, then 2 hours of hardcore partying, then 4 hours of sleep. I did this six days a week for five years. I burnt myself out–not to mention killed my liver–and quickly decided the business man work ethic was maybe not the route for me. Now, I still have just as many titles under my name in my email signature but I’ve found a happy medium between work and play. I work four days a week and leave plenty of time for my cooking and for time that I can’t define easily–we’ll call it me time.

I love wasting time with frivolous activities. I love doing things for no reason other than for the joy of the activity. I love letting a lunch take three hours. And while I haven’t fully let go of my A-typeness I have come closer to reducing my chances of coronary heart disease and other stress related inflictions that may put me in a box sooner than I’d like.

These brownies may help with any lingering stress you may have as well. Molasses is perfect at giving a recipe that distinctly sweet and pungent flavor–a calling card for the south.  You know a southerner when you meet one and you know a dessert with molasses in it when you taste one. These molasses blondies are like us southerners and our outlook on life. They’re meant to be savored and enjoyed. The flavor is strong but not obnoxious or overpowering. They’re pleasant and a stack of them are inviting to the eyes–and tummy.  I got this recipe from my mom, who hates to bake so if she can make this a cat can too–no offense mom. She adapted it from a traditional blondie recipe from Whipped.

Molasses Blondies

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a 8×13 inch baking pan with foil (bottom and sides).

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.

3. Mix the sugar and butter together. Add the molasses and mix until incorporated. Add each egg one at a time and mix until blended. Add the vanilla and stir in.

4. Stir in the flour mixture until it is just incorporated. Add the walnuts and stir until evenly distributed.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

6. Bake for  20 to 25 minute minutes until they are set in the center and a toothpick comes out dirty, but not runny or wet.

7. Let the blondies cool before inverting the pan onto a plate. Lift the pan, then remove the foil (I invert the brownies again so the pretty baked side face up).

Enjoy!

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AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Founder of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, Russell's works have been featured in Southern Living, Men's Fitness, Redbook, TRADHome, and Real Simple magazines and on various sites including Lifehacker, Fast Co., Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, Quipsologies, Explore, and Fine Cooking.Follow Russell on Twitter @rvank and Instagram. Get more delicious @chasedelicious.

36 Comments

  • Nelly Rodriguez

    These look gorgeous! Love the photo styling, happy Friday!

  • Tina@flourtrader

    Perfect for fall and I do have some molasses waiting to be used! Great pictures, thanks for sharing.

  • Evan Thomas

    Woh–crazy coincidence. Mr. Gambone was my 11th grade English teacher! That is unreal. We always knew he was an author but never much about the books he wrote.
    The blondies look awesome, of course.

    • Russell

      Wow! What a small world. That’s crazy. And thank you, thank you.

  • Maureen

    I’ve made heaps of blondies, I love them, but I’ve never made any with molasses. These look fantastic and I love the photos!

  • Shannon@JustAsDelish

    Never tried blondies before.. these look absolutely delicious, have save this recipe to try out

  • Denise

    This recipe looks wonderful. I always make my blondies with butterscotch morsels but I love molassas and would like to try this version :-) Great photos, great writing. The changes you have made in your life sound healthy and good. I think we should do things that bring joy and show love, not have a full plate of a thousand things we feel are expected or needed to make us worthwhile or to excel. They can be good things and may have a place but always needing to be more, do more will kill you, not just physically cause bad health but sicken your spirit. Good for you to look hard and choose what you want to do rather than what is imposed.

  • Dee at Deelicious Sweets

    Seems as if you and I are on the same baking page! Blondies are da bomb and so easy to whip up. Good to see you have taken a step back and are enjoying your moment-to-moment! I was beginning to worry this was going to end in a very American Psycho sort of way :)

  • Tres Delicious

    Those are delectable blondies. It looks crispy on the outside yet gooey in the inside.

  • Anne@frommysweetheart

    Russell….so glad you have found a balance in your life. I think it’s important to be spontaneous…even if that means spending a day in bed…and find frivolous activities…simply because they make you happy! I love the richness molasses lends to baking. And I love blondies so much more than brownies, actually. These look fabulous!

  • Kim Bee

    Great recipe and as always a beautifully written post. You amaze me. You have a real gift for both cooking and writing. I look forward to your next post.

  • Elies_Lie

    Yesterday is a brownies… now a blondies… I’m sure u inlove with a dessert Russel! :D
    Tq for sharing the recipe with us… very tempthing blondies! Love the photo! ;)

  • April @ Girl Gone Gourmet

    Dessert for breakfast followed by a day lost in a favorite book? Sign me up, please :)

  • Sasha @ The Procrastobaker

    Goodness me these look fabulous! Although thats rather a dirty blonde you have there :) Absolutely delicious i bet!

  • The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    These brownies are definitely up my alley. As is reading a good book in bed. Since I don’t like chocolate, I’ll take a plateful of these, please.

  • Monica @ TheYummyLife

    Yum! These look amazing. I love molasses cookies, and these take it up a notch. Beautifully photographed and poetically written, too.

  • Salama

    the pictures look good enough to eat…yum !!

  • Jo@jocooks

    These brownies look delicious. Great photos and I love your blog, great writing.

  • Cassie [Bake Your Day]

    This “spend the day in bed” idea sounds so perfect, especially with these blondies. I’ve recently become a fan and yours look perfect!

  • Julie

    These are a terrific treat for the cooler days to come. I had a nice read and enjoy your beautiful photography. I’m glad you stopped by.

  • Heather McMullin

    Thank you for stopping by my site Russell!! Your site is wonderful and I look forward to making your molasses blondies. What a fun new twist on an old favorite!

    Hugs!
    Heather
    http://www.made-famous-by.com

  • Erika - The Teenage Taste

    My goodness, I was hanging onto your every word! You are an amazing photographer, writer, and baker! I must make these blondies! :)

  • Paula @ Spoons 'n' Spades

    Oooh, yum! They look absolutely divine! Wonderful that you’ve found a balance in life that works for you too, we all need ‘down’ time to do what we enjoy :-)

  • Joni Hughes

    These were amazing! It was 95 in Columbus Ohio on Saturday, rained all day on Sunday and today Monday Sept 5 it was 69…..Perfect day for baking these….

    Thanks for sharing the recipe…..

  • Ellie | Gourmand Recipes

    Beautiful blondies. Love the molasses flavor. Shall try to make them soon.

  • Pam @ Sticks Forks Fingers

    Wow. This falls in the category, “I should have thought of that.” Molasses seems a natural here, and what Blondies have always been crying out for.

    Carry on, Russell! My grandchildren have two mommies, and two very happy mommies at that. Blessings to you for standing for yourself and those less brave in your college years. May all that happiness, and more, be yours!!!

    My best, Pam

  • SandeeA

    I love your writing and your photos are great! and I need to find a balance in my life too :)

    PD: I hope your mother loves cats :P

  • Stephanie

    I love molasses in baked goods and these sound really interesting. I’m definitely not an a-type personality (although I was pretty grades-competitive in university) so just reading about your old schedule makes me tired! I much prefer your new way of enjoying some downtime and mixing it with work and interesting project.

  • Kita

    I don’t often unwind enough to spend time enjoying a great book but when I do – I love it. Just like I imagine this little bites would be! Molasses blondies sound divine.

  • myFudo

    These look delicious. Really craving for them. Love the photos.
    Feel free to visit my site am giving away a free designer’s lunch bag.

  • Kathleen

    These look fabulously delish! I’ve never made blondies with molasses before. YUM

  • Joanna @ Chic&Gorgeous Treats

    Wow.. your photos firstly are superb. And I’ve never baked anything with molasses yet. This could be the first for me.. LOVELY!! Cheers, Jo

  • lacy

    yum! these look amazing, never saw blondies made with molasses before. a definite must try!

  • aarthi

    Wow…I am drooling over here…This looks so delicious…First time here…I am glad that I reached here…and your blog is too good…Straight away bookmarking your blog…This dish is really good…Will try it soon…Thanks for the recipe dear…If you have time do check out my blog..
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

    Aarthi

  • Laura Dembowski

    Molasses Blondies sound wonderful! As does a day spent reading and eating them. I missed partying days altogether (maybe they’re yet to come?) but still appreciate a few moments to savor the small wonders of life without rushing around trying to accomplish an impossible list of tasks.

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