But this also makes it an extremely busy time as I am harvesting this bounty, freezing berries, harvesting garlic, checking on the garden twice a day and sometimes staying up until midnight making the perfect jam.
Not to mention the fact that all this is often happening while I have three little ones at my feet (well, except for canning which can often be a messy, splattering business!)
This time of year I get so caught up in fresh produce that I sometimes forget to make their favourite cookies or one of their favourite loaves. They complain a little but I don't feel too sorry for them as plum juice drips down their chin. I also know that I miss having a treat to stash into their bags as we head to the beach or park. But I just cannot bear to be in the kitchen more than I need to during the day when these days are hot.
My friend's son was recently doing some baking and shared some of his Blondies with us. It was a bit of a revelation that you would basically bake a cookie dough into a 9 X 13" pan and save all the time of portioning out little bits of dough for cookies and waiting to rotate trays in and out of the oven.
After talking to him, I found a recipe that was very similar in one of my Cook's Illustrated magazines.
So, here is a super simple recipe that you can easily make in 5 minutes, toss in the oven and have to take to the beach later! Not to mention the fact that they taste great with the berries of the season!
You can make these your own by adding up to 1/2 cup of "add-ins"- chopped nuts, some additional white chocolate chips, or even top with leftover halloween candy! Do not overbake these!
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour or whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (*only if using unsalted butter)
1/2 cup melted butter (if salted, omit salt)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (or a mixture of brown and white, or coconut sugar mixed in have all worked)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
up to 1 cup chocolate chips (I use less when I use mini chips)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare a 9 X 13" pan for baking---use parchment, or grease
3. In one large bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined.
4. Add dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt (if needed). Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into wet, fold in chocolate chips and add-ins then turn into pan. Smooth top with rubber spatula. (Press in any candy-coated chocolates, small peanut butter cups, etc. before baking.)
5. Bake until top is shiny and light golden brown, 23- 25 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool to room temperature. Cut into squares. Store in fridge if they survive longer than a day on the counter!
Note: Recipe adapted Nov. 2016 to be made in one bowl!