Happy almost-Valentine's Day! I did not bring you anything heart-shaped this weekend because I'm a poor planner - even though I was tempted yesterday morning to re-make these blondies and cut out pretty heart shapes with my new cookie cutters because seeing all the beautiful goodies out there on the web and Instagram have me smitten. Don't worry, there will be some hearts floating around here soon.
When I'm in a funky mood, Andrew reminds me gently that I am loved. And he's right, I see and feel love every single day. Sometimes it's an in-your-face-obvious love - a gift, big hugs from friends, a kiss on the cheek. But most times they're seemingly normal moments that I find, looking back, have love sprinkled in the situation.
- Like the texts my mom sends us in the morning, wishing us a "marvelous day" and to "work hard, play hard, shop hard, and draw hard" (the Park family motto).
- Like the phone calls from old high school friends who chuckle during the conversation because they remember the young, Cinnamon-Toast-Crunch-eating, high strung version of you (and remind you that deep down, you're still the same person).
- Like the meals shared with friends, whether homemade or out in the city, leaving you with smiles at the end of the night.
I could probably go on for a while. But the basic gist of it all is to say, this year's me is finally realizing what last year's me couldn't figure out - that you don't need a fireworks-crazy-bang kind of love every day to feel special. Every day life doesn't have to be jam-packed exciting to be a wonderful day, because nearly every day there's a little bit of love. Yes, some days it's a little bit tougher to see it - you may even need to be a little more active in finding it (easy fix: CALL YOUR PARENTS), but it's there. I promise.
I warned you the next few posts would be sappy. But anyways, consider these blondies as my virtual hug to each one of you this Valentine's Day. They're filled with all sorts of good things - a boatload of bittersweet chocolate chunks, toffee-like butterscotch chips, a splash of coffee, and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt on top. And they take no time at all, it's a one-bowl wonder that you can get in under 40 minutes, 30 if you're a fast chopper of chocolate and don't have the Internet distracting you every 5 minutes. The perfect partner to a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dessert worth sharing, whether it's with your special man-friend or your gal pals or your crazy weird friends this weekend. Happy early Valentine's Day!
Ingredients (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cold coffee
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 4 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
- Flaky sea salt for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 8x8 pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Mix the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg, vanilla, coffee.
- Add the flour and salt and mix until almost fully combined (leave some flour streaks). Add the chocolate and butterscotch chips and mix until just combined. Sprinkle with the flaky sea salt on top.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Try your best not to overbake. Take out of the oven, let cool, then enjoy with a scoop of ice cream.