staying toasty

In college many students covet their DVD collections, their Xboxes, or their overstuffed lounge chairs. I covet my toaster oven—my 10×10” haven for breads, potatoes, and, most recently, a baking experiment.

Earlier this week I found the spare time and ingredients to whip up a variation on one of my favorite recipes: blondies. I set out to make a traditional chocolate chip batch, but browning bananas beckoned from the fruit bowl and made their way into the batter. The brown sugar-banana-chocolate combo was delicious and a hit with my suitemates. The bananas made the bars denser and moister than usual, though, so next time around I’ll add some extra flour.

Overall, the toaster oven proved itself worthy in the baking arena. Armed with this knowledge and a big bag of flour, I’m sensing that my experimentation will go beyond the science lab this semester.

Recipe after the jump.

Blondies
From Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
Makes 16 2-inch squares
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1 cup flour

½ cup each of chocolate chips and nuts (optional, be as creative as you want)
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8×8 pan. Stir together butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla. Stir in the salt and flour. Stir in chocolate and/or nuts. Pour into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes (err on the side of underdone—they’re better that way). Allow to cool in pan on a rack before cutting.

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