Got some extra shit lying around the house? Bake something!

I've been told before that I'm a pretty good baker - no doye, I practice all the time. But this weekend I discovered a recipe for blondies that you can literally throw anything in and they'll blow your mind. In case you don't know what a blondie is, it's like a brownie (dense, cake-like) but instead of being sweetened with cocoa it's sweetened with brown sugar (amazing, right?) They're super easy and there aren't many flavours that don't work. For instance, this weekend I added pecans, chocolate chunks, butterscotch chips, and those cellophane-wrapped caramels; needless to say, 2 squares in and I could feel my teeth buckling and my pupils dilate. This time I wanted to add something to make it a little less Type 2, so I went searching in my baking cupboard for healthier nuggets...and also I ate all the caramel squares. So here's what I found!

In that bag is white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, almonds, craisins, raisins, candied cherries, sunflower and pumpkin seeds (so...trail mix). They turned out really yummy, and my roommate told me they sort of taste like syrupy pancakes. Want the recipe? Here it is!

- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Don't ask why, just do it.

- Beat together a stick and a half of butter with 1 cup of brown sugar. When combined, beat in 2 eggs and a splash of vanilla. I like to use a lot of vanilla, but wouldn't go anywhere over this ratio:

It kind of looks like a face.

- In another bowl, sift 1 1/4 cups of flour with 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, pinch of salt. Add this slowly to the wet stuff. Soon you'll get a delicious brown-sugary batter. Like this:

Don't eat more than a solid tablespoon or you'll start to feel sick.

- Now it's time to throw in all those random dried fruits and chocolates. I think a little more than a cup works, but put in as much or as little as you want.

- Spread it out into a large pan. I used a jelly roll pan so that they bake about 1/2 an inch thick. If you want a thicker, cake-y square, then use a normal 9x9.

Yum! Throw that shit in the oven for about 20 minutes. I am estimating this time since I didn't set a timer, but I know it was after the meet and greet on Jeopardy but right after revealing the answer to Final Jeopardy. When it comes out, it will look like this:

Once cooled, you can cut them into long bars. The flavour is very sugary, you pick up a lot of vanilla and cherry. But the best part is how dead-simple they are to make. As long as you have a few basic baking staples in your kitchen (flour, butter, brown sugar, eggs) you can add just about anything to the mix. Extra toothpaste? Why not. Tom Collins mix and pieces of frozen pie crust? Sure, have at it. Just send me some when you're done.

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