Monday, August 1, 2011

I've been a little busy

Things I did last week:

Baked cookies.
Had friends over for dinner.
Had friends over for brunch.
Drove the kids around.
Sat at the vet with my injured dog.
Went running and hated it.
Played Mah jong at the beach.
Saw Captain America*.
Went back and forth on legal documents with people in China, Texas, San Francisco and New York.
Opened up a corporate bank account**.
Made an exciting journal entry in Quickbooks:  Credit cash, debit equity.
Signed a lease on office space.
Completed an application for D&O, employee practice, liability and umbrella policies.
Priced out health plans and chose a payroll provider.
Received proposals for setting up a 401K and leasing a copier.  (A copier? Cool!)

Yep.  As of last Thursday, a great idea in a friend's head is now a real company with solid financing, and I now have a real, paying, J-O-B***!

The door to the new office.  And my new life!
Holy #%/@!

To celebrate, I baked****.

Life Changing Butterscotch Blondies
I had these at a recent book group meeting, and fell completely in love. They are so rich, I thought of them immediately when it came to an appropriate homage to funding coming in.  I took the original a step further and browned the butter first, then threw in chocolate chips for good measure.  The result is exactly what a great blondie should be...sweet, chewy, buttery and full of caramel flavor, with the perfect hit of salt to balance everything out.  As they bake, this smooth little crust forms on top that just melts in your mouth.  Awe-SOME! The recipe, from Clementine, was reprinted in the LA Times Culinary SOS column, and generously emailed to me by Maggie, one of our hostesses for that meeting.  The book was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which had no butterscotch blondies in it, but was nonetheless fascinating.  To hear the story, listen to this very cool podcast about Henrietta from Radiolab, one of my favorite shows on NPR.

1 3/4 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
10 Tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) butter
2 1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. chopped toasted walnuts or
1 1/4 c. semi sweet chocolate chips

Butter a 13x9 pan and preheat oven to 325.

In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt together, and set aside.

Place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  After the butter melts, continue cooking for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.  It may foam up, which is fine.  Watch carefully, as your goal is to see the milk solids and salt in the butter begin to turn brown,  but you don't want to have them burn.  If they do, the butter will have a very bitter taste.  When the butter is a light tan/golden color and begins to smell toasty, immediately remove from heat.

Place brown sugar into a large mixing bowl, then pour in the browned butter and vanilla.  Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until combined.  Blend in the eggs. Add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until dough is smooth and a little bit shiny.   Fold in the nuts/chocolate chips by hand.

Spread dough evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until top is puffed, smooth, and light brown.   When you remove the pan from the oven, the top may collapse.  This is perfectly means your blondies will be dense and chewy, just as they should be.

Cool for at least 20 minutes, then serve.

Click to print this recipe!

* Don't rush out.  It was just OK.
** When I went to the bank after our financing closed, the manager greeted me with a big smile and said, "Your wire came in today.  Would you like a cookie?"  I declined.  I had to go home and bake for the "We got funded!" company BBQ.  I know I'm with the right team at the new job.  The BBQ menu featured marinated skirt steak on fresh naan, with arugula and brie.
*** It's a start up. I'm the CFO.  My average week will be looking a little different very soon.  New blog tag: work!
**** Mostly in celebration.  Partially from nerves over the impending life changes that are coming my way.


  1. I posted a comment/review over at Tasty Kitchen, but really felt like I needed to come over here and post again...that's how awesome these are! :-) I only had dark chocolate chips on hand, so I used them and I am not kidding when I say that I will not search for another choco-chip bar recipe again! Thanks for posting it!

  2. You are so welcome! They'd be great with dark chocolate chips. I'm like that I have this recipe in my box, I'm done! Thanks for letting me know they worked for you.