How do you deal with the birthday of an acquaintance or co-worker who you’re not that close with, but got you a small gift for your last birthday? It can sometimes be a little awkward…it’s not to say that he/she got you a gift to get a gift in return, but if you completely blow off their birthday altogether, you’re likely to hurt their feelings. And no one wants that.
Especially when you can eat sweet treats and be happy together instead.
If you’re looking for the perfect birthday gift for a situation like that, I recommend something homemade; in particular, these blondies. They’re fun, festive, and super quick and easy to whip up. Spread them around the office and watch the atmosphere instantly brighten. And really, you don’t have to wait for a birthday.
I use butter flavoring in these blondies to give them a “birthday cake” flavor; although it will change the flavor slightly, you can omit it if you want. If you’d like to give butter extract a try, I recommend a “natural” extract such as Frontier Natural Products or Silver Cloud Estates; the Frontier brand in particular is a favorite of mine.
- 1 teaspoon canola oil, to grease the pan
- 3/4 cup (85 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/16 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup (60 g) white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup (45 g) rainbow sprinkles
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) butter, softened slightly, but not melted
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides. Brush the paper with the canola oil.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, then stir in the white chocolate chips and rainbow sprinkles. Set aside for now.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a separate medium bowl; beat in the molasses, egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, and butter flavoring (if using) until very light and fluffy.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet just to combine. (The batter will be as thick as a wet cookie dough; basically, thicker than cake batter, but not as thick as regular cookie dough.)
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted inside comes out with just a couple crumbs, around 25 to 30 minutes. (If you wait until the toothpick is clean to pull out these blondies, they will be overcooked.)
- Cool completely before cutting.
Update (July 7, 2013): I made a few tweaks and updated this recipe to make these blondies even better! Now I am fully comfortable saying that they are the best blondies I've ever had. Plus, they're completely customizable; if funfetti isn't your thing, omit the sprinkles and white chocolate chips and use semisweet chocolate chips and/or nuts instead.
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