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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

The thing that I love the most about warm weather vacations? Beach hair. There is no other time in your life that you can exert next to no effort on your own appearance and look absolutely amazing.

The pink cheeks from a day spent exploring. The effortless clothes that say 'I have no where to be.' And the salt-infused hair that tumbles around in the wind. It all says vacation.

Upon returning to the room after a day spent on the sand, I am loath to take a shower and ruin my beach-perfected look. As soon so I step foot into the fresh water my sun-kissed skin turns into a lobster red sunburn. My beachy waves lose all of their fun and I'm left looking like I spent too much time in the sun.

But you can't go on without showering. Not only are you covered from head to toe in ocean salt, sunscreen and whatever beachside drink you inevitably spilled on yourself, but if you are like me you took half of the beach home with you.

The post-beach shower is sadly necessary to remove all those rogue bits of sand that are trying to come home with you. Sure enough you'll be packing plenty of sand in your suitcase, there is no reason to let those tiny grains stowaway on your person. If I spend any time at all in the surf, I will have to spend an equal amount of time scouring myself with a loofah to wash away all the residual sand.

Beachside showers and hoses are no match for the sand, it wants to come home with you. I'll be finding bits of sand all over the apartment and myself for at least the next two weeks. Small memories of vacation or tiny little nuisances? Only time will tell.

One Year Ago: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

As with all dessert items in Cooking Light, they are only low calorie if you cut the bars into tiny pieces.  Since I'm not going to cut up my 8x8-inch slab of blondie into twenty pieces, we won't be calling this "light."  Even though they aren't light, these bars are certainly delicious.  I refused to bring them to work because boyfriend and I wanted to eat all of them.

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chocolate chips
16 mini reeses cups, cut into fourths

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat an 8x8-inch pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with a whisk. In another bowl, combine melted butter, peanut butter, skim milk, vanilla and eggs, whisk until smooth. Add peanut butter mixture to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir until incorporated throughout the dough.

Press batter into the prepared pan. Add peanut butter cups and press into the dough. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out only with crumbs. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 pieces.
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