|Compost blondies. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books|
Reduce, reuse, recycle is a mantra familiar to many parents of elementary age children. Along with "stop, drop and roll," it becomes part of the educational fabric, along with "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" and the alphabet song.
Reduce, reuse, recycle can apply to more than disposable package goods; at certain times of the year, it's the perfect solution to a surplus of candy. After Halloween, and post-Valentine's and Easter, I become the Stealth Mom, secreting sweets out of the filling-filled mouths of my babes. You see, we have those kind of teeth, the kind that send dentists on exotic vacations and their kids to good schools. I'm not a fanatic about depriving my children of candy, but enough "I'm sorry, Mrs. Mercer, but we found a few cavities," discussions impel me to be judicious about handing out the sweets and driven about brushing, rinsing and flossing.
And this is why I like Spicebox Travels' idea for compost blondies, recycling Halloween candy into buttery, dense sweet and salty cookies. Basically a riff on chocolate chip cookies, these treats use up leftover sweet and salty snacks. Now you may think, "how is recycling candy going to save this crazy blogger's kids' teeth?" And that's where the fourth "R" comes in ~ "redistribute." This recipe makes plenty of blondies to share. With all your friends, including the dentist's kids.
Linda Shiue of Spicebox Travels based her recipe on a variation of Momofoku Milk Bar's famous compost cookies, and they are delicious.
Spicebox Travels' Compost Blondies
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped Halloween chocolate candy (M and M's and Hershey's Miniatures work well here)
2 tablespoons coffee grounds, (as Linda says, for the true spirit of compost)
3/4 cup salty snacks, coarsely crushed (potato chips, pretzels, corn chips)
1. Preheat oven to 375 F and grease a 15×10 baking pan.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
3. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
4. Add in eggs one at a time. Beat until very well combined and light.
5. Add vanilla.
6. Slowly mix dry ingredients with the wet until completely combined.
5. With a wooden spoon, slowly mix in your crushed Halloween candy.
6. Swirl in coffee grounds.
7. Very gently add the crushed chips and pretzels. Don’t overstir or they’ll break into crumbs.
8. Spread batter evenly into the greased baking pan.
7. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean and edges are golden.
8. Cool completely before cutting.
Text and images copyright 2012, Lucy Mercer.