Kindness & Cheesecake Blondies

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Caring for a kitten in Afghanistan ~William Keys

Along this grief journey there have been quite a few moms who have touched my heart and inspired me to do better. Doreen is one of those moms. This poem is a gift from her.

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Choose kindness. It could make all the difference in your day or someone else’s day or a pet’s day or even the world.

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trying to follow in your kind light

This recipe was born from kindness. Inspired by my friend Laurie’s homemade salted caramel this dessert is salty, sweet, creamy and crunchy…need I say more? How kind of a dear friend to share her culinary sweetness with me. Thank you again, Laurie.

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Salted Caramel Cheesecake Blondies

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

¼ cup sugar

3 eggs, divided

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, divided

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1½ cups packed light brown sugar

1 cup toasted chopped pecans

5 tablespoons high quality caramel topping, warm

½ teaspoon fleur de sel

Heat oven 325F. Spray a 9-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper leaving a 1-inch overhang over sides. Spray parchment with non-stick cooking spray. In small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add 1 egg and ½ teaspoon vanilla; blend well and set aside. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl, whisk melted butter and brown sugar until blended. Add remaining eggs and vanilla; blend well. Add flour mixture and mix with a spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in ¾ cups pecans. Spread half the blondie batter over bottom of prepared pan. Drop half the cream cheese mixture by spoonfuls on top. Reserve 2 tablespoons of caramel. Drop the remaining caramel by teaspoonfuls in between the spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture. Repeat layering with remaining blondie batter and cream cheese mixture. Using the tip of a butter knife gently swirl the blondie batter, cream cheese mixture and caramel together creating a marbled effect. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Using the parchment edges, lift the blondies from the pan to a cooling rack. Drizzle with remaining caramel and sprinkle with pecans and fleur de sel. Chill in refrigerator until completely cool. Cut into bars or squares. 

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Good Grief Cook’s Best Recipes

What to Write? What to write? What to write? I got nothin’! So instead I will share YOUR top 3 favorite recipes from all my years of blogging. BTW-your favorites are for sure some of mine. May love always guide you in the kitchen.

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Sweet William’s Fancy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Not one bit surprised that the recipe that got me started writing made the list. Who doesn’t love a perfectly crisp chocolate chip cookie with a soft inside spiked with bourbon? https://goodgriefcook.com/2013/10/21/following-in-his-light-with-cookies/

 

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Shredded Chicken Mole

I love this recipe not only for its easy great flavor, but also for inspiring me to learn more about food photography. This one made the foodgawker list and I could not have been more proud. Hope to graduate from my iPhone to a real digital camera in 2017. https://goodgriefcook.com/2015/04/30/building-relationships-flavor-a-give-away/

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Maple Smoked Pickled Pork Sliders

Last but not least is this porky goodness on a Hawaiian roll. It’s the contrast in temperatures, textures and flavors that makes this one a winner. https://goodgriefcook.com/2016/07/17/wills-meerkats-pork-sliders/

Gather the ones you love most as often as you can.

More Happiness in 2017

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Comfort & Joy & Snicker-Doodles

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May your joys always be greater than your sorrows.

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Baking cookies with Kiki is always a good time according to Annabelle. She really wanted me to share this recipe with you. It’s not your typical snickerdoodle, but that’s the way it goes around here.  It’s not like you need another cookie recipe, but this is what happens when I clean out the cabinets of two half empty jars of peanut butter and a freezer full of snicker bars that were leftover from Halloween. She thinks it is a great cookie for a holiday exchange. Get it? She is so smart already. Merry Christmas!

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Snicker-Doodles

  • Servings: 5 to 6 dozen
  • Print

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

1-teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1-cup peanut butter

¾ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

20 mini snicker bar candies, each chopped into 8 pieces

Heat oven 350F. In bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat sugar and peanut butter for 1 minute or until blended. Add sugars; beat 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well. With mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients until just mixed in. Stir in chopped candy bars. Using a cookie scoop drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets about 2-inches apart. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned.