Sunday, December 11, 2011

Snickers Blondies

I guess instead of the "gift ideas for classy ladies" post, I should have written a "gift ideas for gentlemen and scholars" post.  I would have, if only shopping for the men in my life wasn't so bleeding hard.  

I've watched so much Netflix recently that I've pretty well run out of American shows to I've been watching a lot of British series.  I think I'm occasionally inserting Britishisms into my day to day speech now...thus the "bleeding".  I have a tendency to do that.  I certainly have embraced the "y'all" since living in Georgia.  It's great.  I know it sounds a little...Southern, but I'm into it.  

Back to dude presents.  What in the sweet world do you guys want?  I, for one, would certainly love to know.  The internet has no answers.  I just see the same ridiculous nonsense year after year.  How many grooming kits, pocket knives, and leather wallets can a man receive over the years?  I'm betting...tons.  And I'm not trying to sass-mouth anyone who has gifted those items.  They are literally the only ideas we can muster sometimes.  

I mentioned that Jim made an amazon wish list.  I was proud of him.  I still am.  But here's a two-part problem related to that very wish list.  1) He has a couple reasonably priced gift ideas on there, but those got snatched up like waffle irons on Black Friday.  I'm just lucky no one maced me.  2) The folks back home aren't so tech-savvy and many of his items are purchasable only on the internet.  And by not so tech savvy I mean...yeah.  If you found your way here and happen to be reading this (slim though the odds of that may be), I love you guys.  

But Jim isn't really the problem here.  Like it or not, his were the first gifts I bought this year.  I had him taken care of by Cyber Monday.  The real problems are the other men in my life.  Brothers, I'm talking to you.  Dad, you're not out of the woods either.  My dad simply has everything the human mind is capable of imagining that he might ever want.  So that makes things difficult.  Brothers are just impossible every year. What in God's name are you two into?  Ball caps with the flat brim and the sticker still on it?  (Sweet heavens, I hope not, that's a terrible trend.)  Brew your own beer kits?  Adidas pants that snap all the way up the sides? (Remember those?)  I am so out of touch.  Gift cards it is.

Anyway, there's one gift that I know will always be a hit with the men in my life.  Did you just yell out "baked goods"?  You are so right.  That brings me to today's good.
My name is Cricket and I approve this message.
My Snickers-loving husband is always encouraging me to challenge myself in my baking, to be creative and innovative.  And to somehow meld two of his favorite treats, chocolate chip cookies, and Snickers.  So I did.

Snickers Blondies

1 recipe for cheater chocolate chip cookies, using almonds instead of walnuts
33 individually wrapped caramels
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Prepare the cheater chocolate chip cookie dough according to the directions for that recipe.

Grease an 8x8 baking dish and line it with parchment.  Press half the dough into the bottom of the pan.  

Bake at 350 for 11 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.  While it cools, melt the caramels and the evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring often until smooth.

Pour the caramel over the first layer of cookie, and place the rest of the dough on top.  To do this, while the first layer cooled, I pressed the cookie dough out into an 8x8 square onto wax paper and then carefully flipped it on top of the caramel layer.  

Bake another 20 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hour.  Wrap and place in fridge overnight before cutting into squares.

I'll warn you.  These are messy, but delicious.  They're best served on a plate with a fork and maybe some ice cream.  You can also use peanuts instead of almonds if the mood strikes you.  

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