I have always believed that food tells stories, and that every plate carries history inside of it, regardless of how big or small the dish is. Here in Costa Rica a common saying when it comes to talking about food, particularly when it is one that we can immediately connect with dishes that are important to us or that we used to have when we were younger, is that it “tastes like a memory”. This saying resonates highly with me because as we grow old, it is evident that not everyone who has been there with us in the past, is here with us in the present, or will be with us in the future. Aside from the obvious importance these people have in our everyday life, they also mark us in little ways we many times aren’t aware of; whether it is by a saying they had, by the hugs we realize we so dearly miss, or even, those comfort foods that once received us with arms wide open in our lowest days.
Just like that, we slowly start noticing the interpersonal role food has with each and every one of us, and how it is that something is able to “taste like a memory”. The other half of the story though, is the people who prepare this food. As cooks, it is pleasant to cook for others and to bring some sort of joy and pleasure to people, however, many times cooks also enjoy to cook for themselves. I personally did this, on this past Friday when I returned from my Senior Breakfast, which was also the last school activity I had with my classmates before Graduation. I’m not going to lie, these events are really, really weird. They are weird because we aren’t even able to grasp the importance of them and really take advantage of them as we probably should.
I returned at about midday to my home and couldn’t really find much to do. I somehow, though, had an urge to cook something sweet to kind of remove that bittersweet taste I had from my mouth. I was less than 24 hours from graduating High School and if I’m honest I felt numb because there were so many emotions running through me I really couldn’t distinguish one properly so I was just stuck in a confusing and numb limbo sort of thing.
My love for chocolate chip cookies is enormous, and although I was craving something sweet like that, I was also craving a more mushy food that could more accurately depict my state at the moment, so I opted to make some blondies. For those who are slightly confused about what blondies are, they are simply an abbreviation of Blond Brownies, and they are pretty great. If I am honest I have always been more of a cookie type of person, but recently, I have found deep admiration for brownies and the art that comes with them. Anyway, below you will find this simple recipe for these Chocolate Chip Blondies that accompanied me through possibly some of the most confusing days of my life.
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3-1/2 a cup of semisweet chocolate chips (depends on how much you like)
- 1 stick of melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 2/3 of a cup of brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Before you begin remember to always mise en place and have your ingredients and station ready to begin working. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease the pan you would like to use. Some people like to have the blondies be a bit thicker so they use smaller pans, and some like them a bit thin so they use larger pans. An 8×8 pan leaves a nice thickness and chewy-ness to the Blondies so I recommend using one of those (Its one of the square ones).
In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter and the brown sugar. I didn’t have available packed brown sugar so I had to use regular brown sugar and spoiler alert, I recommend it; it actually gave the Blondie a bit more texture so don’t be afraid to use it! Add the egg, the salt and the vanilla to the mix and combine. Make sure that the butter is room temperature to avoid having a scrambled egg disaster! Once done, add the flour and mix throughly. Finally, fold the chocolate chips in and place the mixture in the pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden. Let cool, cut and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this dish plentifully, and always remember that if you have any comments or suggestions for what I can cook next, please let me know!