brown sugar

White Chocolate Coconut Blondies

White Chocolate Coconut Blondies by Wood and Spoon blog. These easy brown butter blondies are flavored with shredded coconut and white chocolate chips. Make your own homemade blondies by adding you favorite kind of dark chocolate chips, mixed nuts, and more! Find the recipe and tutorial on thewoodandspoon.com .

Happy Thursday from sweet home Alabama! This time of year, at least in these parts, means that college football season is near. Yes, in just a few short days I will kiss my husband goodbye and re-familiarize myself with that far-off gaze that only a football game and a plate of buffalo hot wings can render. So to start this season off on the right foot, I’m sharing an easy, crowd-pleasing, one-bowl recipes that you can show off at the tailgate nearest you. Yes, these white chocolate coconut blondies will make even the least interested college football fan (guilty) show up at your party tent ready to rumble.

Go Sports!

Growing up, I was not what you would call a football fan. At the time, I had a healthy interest in professional and college basketball (GO CATS!), but football really wasn’t on my radar. It wasn’t until I moved to Birmingham, Alabama for college that I learned of the vicious football rivalries that existed in my new state. “So who do you pull for? Auburn or Alabama?” I heard that question a time or two and I’m pretty sure I laughed every time. I could have written a dissertation on the birthplace of jorts (thats “jean shorts” for those of you not from North Florida) with more interest than I could have aligned myself to one of two schools that I knew or cared nothing about. BYE FELECIA.

White Chocolate Coconut Blondies by Wood and Spoon blog. These easy brown butter blondies are flavored with shredded coconut and white chocolate chips. Make your own homemade blondies by adding you favorite kind of dark chocolate chips, mixed nuts, and more! Find the recipe and tutorial on thewoodandspoon.com .

My Own Sports Career

By junior year, I had dated one (okay, one and a half) players from our school’s football team, so my knowledge in the sport had increased by at least 250%. I joined my sorority’s C-list flag football team, bought some knee socks and a fresh pair of Sophies, and determined I was ready to go pro.

Our team was, to say the least, bad. Okay, we were terrible. AWFUL. In one particular game, a girl on our team lost her shorts (and panties) to a flag pull gone wrong. Later, we executed our best play dubbed “The Eagle” where we all stopped running and began dancing on the field as some sort of means of distraction; it was not successful. The single time I touched the ball that evening was on a punt return where I caught the ball and ran towards the wrong end zone. I realized my mistake at the 15 yard line, immediatlely  panicked, and hurled the ball at an unassuming teammate. (Spoiler alert: she didn’t catch the ball. We lost the game. I’m told that everything I did was wrong.)

White Chocolate Coconut Blondies by Wood and Spoon blog. These easy brown butter blondies are flavored with shredded coconut and white chocolate chips. Make your own homemade blondies by adding you favorite kind of dark chocolate chips, mixed nuts, and more! Find the recipe and tutorial on thewoodandspoon.com .

If you, like me, aren’t a savvy football fan or wouldn’t know a tailgate if it sat on your face, let me help you. Learn from the mistakes of the diehards and wannabes that have gone before you. Here are a few football fan fun facts that will keep you on the invite list for games to come.

How To Not Be A Loser At A Football Game:

  1. DO know which teams are playing in the game. People will laugh if you show up sporting your Keyshawn Johnson jersey and you don’t even know what team the Bucs are playing for the ring. Not like I know from experience or anything.
  2. DO try to sit with people you know. You’ll regret that single scalped ticket if you wind up in the opposing team’s section next to a bunch of potty mouths.
  3. DON’T show up to a tailgate empty-handed! Cookies, a dip, or Chex mix are always appropriate.
  4. DO wear your team colors, but avoid silks, rayon, and form-fitting clothes that will most certainly show off your pit stains and swamp butt. That is not winning.
  5. DON’T drink too much in first quarter of the game. The bleachers are no place to sleep one off.
  6. DO avoid the concession stand at halftime. No amount of chili dogs are worth those lines.
  7. DON’T sit next to the shirtless guys with the body paint unless you’re totally okay with the potential of this happening.
  8. DON’T leave a game early. It only takes one second to miss something.
  9. DO remember that tailgating is a marathon, not a sprint. Those Frito’s and sausage balls might go down smooth, but you don’t want to lug that with you to the upper bowl.
  10. DO make all the brown butter blondies, all the time. FACT: people who bring blondies have more fun.

White Chocolate Coconut Blondies by Wood and Spoon blog. These easy brown butter blondies are flavored with shredded coconut and white chocolate chips. Make your own homemade blondies by adding you favorite kind of dark chocolate chips, mixed nuts, and more! Find the recipe and tutorial on thewoodandspoon.com .

White Chocolate Coconut Blondies

These white chocolate coconut blondies are tailgating staples. This recipe make a huge pan of treats, perfect for sharing, toting across the quad, and shoving in your pockets to get through game day security. Even better, this same batter can be adapted to meet your preferences, so with the same handful of ingredients you can have a variety of chewy goodies to share with the world. Ya welcome.

Making the Blondies

To make these white chocolate coconut blondies, we start by browning some butter. Lucky for you, you’re a pro at browning butter, so you whip that up quickly and let the golden fat cool. From there, it’s a one bowl and done kind of recipe. Stir some brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla into your butter and then fold in the dry ingredients. That’s it! The batter is done. Just toss in the shredded coconut and white chocolate chips and voila! They’re finished!

White Chocolate Coconut Blondies by Wood and Spoon blog. These easy brown butter blondies are flavored with shredded coconut and white chocolate chips. Make your own homemade blondies by adding you favorite kind of dark chocolate chips, mixed nuts, and more! Find the recipe and tutorial on thewoodandspoon.com .

After baking, these brown butter blondies are chewy and oh-so flavorful. Coconut and white chocolate makes a perfect pairing, but you could also opt for dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips as well. Maybe a little lime zest? Maybe sub in some of the coconut for chopped macadamia nuts? Whatever works for you. They’re always delish!

White Chocolate Coconut Blondies by Wood and Spoon blog. These easy brown butter blondies are flavored with shredded coconut and white chocolate chips. Make your own homemade blondies by adding you favorite kind of dark chocolate chips, mixed nuts, and more! Find the recipe and tutorial on thewoodandspoon.com .

Don’t be a loser at this year’s football games. Don’t be like me. Just make these white chocolate coconut blondies and thank the heavens that someone (*raises hand*) has figured out the hard stuff for you. Get your game on this weekend and think of me when you sink your teeth into these bad boys.

Also, there’s only ONE MORE WEEK to vote for your favorite bloggers in the Saveur Blog Awards. You’ll find me in the best baking and sweets category. Click here to vote today and as often as you’d like!

If you like these treats, be sure to check out:

Pecan Toffee Blondies

Derby Pie Bars

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownie

Blueberry Lemon Bars

Trail Mix Cookies

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White Chocolate Coconut Blondies

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These white chocolate coconut blondies feature chewy insides, shredded coconut, and a brown butter dough!

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed into equals sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8″ square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Add the butter to a light-bottomed pan over medium heat. Melt the butter, stirring regularly. Once the butter is melted and has stopped sizzling as frequently, begin to whisk constantly until the butter has browned to a medium-dark hue. (See notes for help.) Remove the butter to a separate large bowl. Allow to cool briefly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Once slightly cooled, whisk the brown sugar into the brown butter. Add the eggs and the vanilla and whisk well to combine. In a seprate small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the brown butter mixture and fold to combine. Add the coconut and white chocolate chips and fold just until combined.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and then bake in the preheated oven, about 25-30 minutes or until the edges are set and a toothpick inserted to the center just barely comes out clean.

Notes

See my previous post on browning butter if you need a little help in this area.

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Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Blueberries and Brown Butter Crumble

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Blueberries and Brown Butter Crumb Topping Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This recipe makes two loaves of moist southern style pound cake swirled with blueberries and topped with a brown butter brown sugar crumble. This is a simple recipe with many of the elements being make ahead. This is also a great breakfast loaf/ dessert to share with friends because there are two cakes made! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

If I could, I would box each and every one of you a loaf of this brown sugar pound cake. I’d fashion it with parchment paper and a curl of ribbon, along with a handwritten note of sorts. We’d nibble on a slice over a cup of coffee, and it’d be in that space that we’d share stories, the joys and the horrors, of our week. This brown sugar pound cake is the kind of treat that’s meant for gifting and inspires sharing, like a buttery little love note to send to the people who count.

I’ve recently spent a fair amount of time thinking about why I love this craft so much. In a matter of years, baking and cooking has melted into the nooks and crannies of my life, pouring edges to the mold of who I am, of who I want to be. It’s less of a hobby or a means of nourishment, but instead, a process that nourishes me in intangible ways and quenches my thirst to create and to share. Baking is the trade that allows me to love the people around me- a box of cookies for a friend, a birthday cake for my child, a spoon of chocolate for my husband. The time spent by the stove and around the table is an act of service, a show of affection, and anyone willing can choose to partake.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Blueberries and Brown Butter Crumb Topping Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This recipe makes two loaves of moist southern style pound cake swirled with blueberries and topped with a brown butter brown sugar crumble. This is a simple recipe with many of the elements being make ahead. This is also a great breakfast loaf/ dessert to share with friends because there are two cakes made! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Finding Your Thing

To be fair, baking may not be your thing. You may be a painter or a scientist. You may build kites or plants gardens or strums on vintage guitars. Words or numbers or colors may mean more to you than flour and sugar. Whatever your gifting is, I really think you should use it. Let me be the one to encourage you to share freely and abundantly the things that give you joy.

And if you haven’t found your “thing” yet, I can assure you that there is room in the kitchen. There is space to create, to fail, and to try again, to love others through the making and breaking of bread. If you’re willing to sift and stir and knead for the benefit of others, I can promise you that baking is an art you can do. Let this recipe for brown sugar pound cake be the one you tiptoe into the shallows with.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Blueberries and Brown Butter Crumb Topping Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This recipe makes two loaves of moist southern style pound cake swirled with blueberries and topped with a brown butter brown sugar crumble. This is a simple recipe with many of the elements being make ahead. This is also a great breakfast loaf/ dessert to share with friends because there are two cakes made! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

This brown sugar pound cake is dense and moist, filled with ribbons of cooked berries and sprinkled with a buttery crumb topping. The recipe yields two loaves of cake, perfect for sharing with a neighbor or teacher or friend. The process of preparing this brown sugar pound cake is straight forward but includes a few different steps, so let’s talk about the how.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Blueberries and Brown Butter Crumb Topping Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This recipe makes two loaves of moist southern style pound cake swirled with blueberries and topped with a brown butter brown sugar crumble. This is a simple recipe with many of the elements being make ahead. This is also a great breakfast loaf/ dessert to share with friends because there are two cakes made! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Making the Cake

To prepare the cake, we start by making a blueberry filling. We could just toss in a handful of berries and call it a day, but by pre-cooking the berries into a thick syrup, we are able to swirl the filling into the loaves for a sliver of tang in each slice. Simply toss mashed berries with some sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch, and cook on the stovetop until thick and bubbly.

While the filling cools in the fridge, we start on the topping. This is a brown butter crumb topping, similar to what we tossed on our raspberry rhubarb crumb cake. Brown butter, with the addition of sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon, makes for a flavorful topping, a warm and salty welcome to an otherwise sweet cake. Check out my tutorial on browning butter for some help on that topic.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Blueberries and Brown Butter Crumb Topping Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This recipe makes two loaves of moist southern style pound cake swirled with blueberries and topped with a brown butter brown sugar crumble. This is a simple recipe with many of the elements being make ahead. This is also a great breakfast loaf/ dessert to share with friends because there are two cakes made! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

The Topping

The topping and filling for this brown sugar pound cake can be made a day or two in advance or just before whipping up the pound cake. On the day of baking, prepare your cake batter. We start by creaming butter and sugar, adding eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk with the usual suspect dry ingredients. The batter is divided between two loaf pans and is swirled with the cooled berry filling. Top each cake with a generous amount of crumble, and feel free to save a handful for nibbling while the cakes bake! You’ll know the cakes are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the center of the cake springs back slightly at the touch.

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Blueberries and Brown Butter Crumb Topping Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This recipe makes two loaves of moist southern style pound cake swirled with blueberries and topped with a brown butter brown sugar crumble. This is a simple recipe with many of the elements being make ahead. This is also a great breakfast loaf/ dessert to share with friends because there are two cakes made! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Allow the cakes to cool completely before packaging for sharing. I have a few ideas for packing loaves here that you can check out, if you please. I also love buying pretty disposable pans so that you can gift the loaves right in their baking container. Whatever you choose, just be sure to save a slice for gifting to someone else. Let others have a taste of the stuff that you’re made of. Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Blueberries and Brown Butter Crumb Topping Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This recipe makes two loaves of moist southern style pound cake swirled with blueberries and topped with a brown butter brown sugar crumble. This is a simple recipe with many of the elements being make ahead. This is also a great breakfast loaf/ dessert to share with friends because there are two cakes made! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like this brown sugar pound cake with blueberries and brown butter crumble, be sure to check out:

Blueberry Galette with Cornmeal Crust

Raspberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Blueberry Cornbread

Strawberry Almond Skillet Cake

Apple Crumb Cake

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Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Blueberries and Brown Butter Crumble

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5 from 1 review

This recipe for brown sugar pound cake with blueberries and brown butter crumb topping makes two loaf cakes, dense, moist, and incredibly flavorful, the perfect treat for sharing.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 11/2 cups (220 gm) blueberries, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the crumble:

  • 6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ cup (100 gm) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (130 gm) all-purpose flour

For the cake:

  • 1 cup (230 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 gm) packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (100 gm) sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 11/2 cups (200 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 11/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup (180 mL) buttermilk, at room temperature

Instructions

To prepare the filling:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat on the stove. Stir, mashing more if desired, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Once the mixture has thickened slightly, remove from heat to a separate container and place in the fridge to cool while you prepare the rest of the cake elements. This can be made ahead, covered, and stored in the fridge for up to one week.

To prepare the crumble:

  1. Add the diced butter to a small saucepan or skillet set over medium heat. Stir with a whisk or swirl the pan occasionally to ensure the butter is melting evenly. Once melted, the butter will sizzle, foam, and eventually start forming little golden bits on the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking and stirring regularly until the butter has taken on an amber color and nutty aroma. Take care not to burn the butter. Remove the pan from heat and pour the brown butter into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Add the brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon to the butter. Fold in the flour until the mixture has crumbled. Set aside in the fridge while you prepare the cake. Alternatively, this can be made and stored in an air-tight container up to one week in advance.

To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two (8-1/2” x 4-1/2” x 2-3/4”) loaf pans with cooking spray. You can also line the pan with two strips of parchment paper for easy removal, if desired.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the room temperature butter on medium speed with a paddle attachment until the butter is lightened in color and smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the sugars. Cream for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add each egg, one at a time, stirring well on medium speed after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla, stirring to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and stir on low just until combined. Add the buttermilk and stir on low to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir on low, folding with a spatula to finish combining.
  5. Scoop one cup of batter into the bottom of each prepared pan and spread it out. Drizzle two tablespoons of the blueberry filling evenly over top of each battered pan. Repeat this process with the layering of batter and filling once more and then divide the remaining cake batter among the two pans. You will not use all the blueberry filling. Drag a butter knife through the pans, back and forth several times, to swirl in the blueberry filling. Top each pan with 1/2 of the crumble.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for about 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool briefly before eating, or cool completely to remove the entire cake from the pan.

Notes

  • If your blueberries are not sweet and ripe, you can add an additional tablespoon of sugar to sweeten them lightly. You want the filling to be fresh and not overly sweet.
  • You will not use all the filling for these cakes. You can save the leftovers and freeze for future cakes, or you can use it as a topping for ice cream or pancakes!
  • If you don’t care about having a blueberry swirl, feel free to fold in 1-1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter before baking. Just forget the filling and fold in berries! Easy!
  • If you need help browning butter for your crumble, check out the link in my above post or search “brown butter” on my blog homepage. There is a tutorial!
  • If you add more than the specified amount of blueberry filling, your cake can become gummy and dense. It still tastes delicious, but it won’t look as advertised in the photos.

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe by the Wood and Spoon blog by Kate Wood. This recipe makes two loaves of cinnamon babka or brioche style bread using butter and eggs. The bread is soft and sweet like Hawaiian bread but makes homemade bread similar to commercial breakfast bread. There is a tutorial on how to roll these fluffy loaves and how to get lots of swirls throughout. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

As a mom, one of the concepts I teach on repeat to my eldest is sharing. At two years old, my daughter already knows when she’s done wrong by refusing to share her toys, snacks, or even love and affection with others. I don’t expect her to master such a skill for quite some time, but I keep pushing her to do so, recognizing that learning to share from an early age will only benefit her.

Sharing is Caring

We adults, though…. man, we really suck at sharing sometimes. We love to make things all about ourselves, and often withhold love, time, energy, and tangible items from those around us who want to share in it. I know that degree of selfishness is all over my life, so I’m thinking I can’t possibly be the only one, right?

This blog is intended to be a platform for sharing. Of course I want to give you recipes and ideas, tips and techniques, how-to’s and pretty photos to look at. But I also want to share thoughts. I want to give you encouragement and laughter and joy via words on these pages, and although I’m sure I’m not always successful in that, I wouldn’t dare quit trying. What use are your passions if you don’t share them with someone? What use are your gifts if you don’t give them away?

So, a challenge to you: share with someone today. Spend yourself on someone else. Volunteer, give a compliment, go the extra mile. Share a coffee, a lunch table, or ANYTHING. Whatever it looks like, just share. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

And speaking of sharing, let’s talk about this cinnamon swirl bread. I have to tell you that my message on sharing comes with the most selfish of motives. A long time favorite of mine is the cinnamon swirl bread from Edgar’s Bakery here in Alabama. It’s perfect, and if you’ve had it, you know why I’m raving about it. A girlfriend of mine asked them for the recipe, and I have questioned them for tidbits on the bread on countless occasions, but CAN YOU BELIEVE THEY DIDN’T SHARE IT WITH ME?? Ok, that’s sarcasm. If I had that recipe and was willing to bake and sell to the masses, I would retire early and spend the rest of my days baking those sweet baby angel loaves for anyone who would buy them from me.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

A Bread Months in the Making

I spent months trying to get the filling on this bread right. MONTHS. I’m talking at least 15-20 test bakes. The end result is worth it. This cinnamon swirl bread, made with butter, sugar, and eggs,  is straight up magical. Similar to a babka, the dough for this bread is moist, buttery, and a bit stringy while being mixed up. After an initial rise, we roll it out super thin and spread it with a cinnamon sugar schmear that, if it weren’t entirely weird, I would consider scrubbing all over my bod. A few rolls, twists, and a rise later, the bread is popped in the oven until it’s dark, golden and fragrant enough to scent your entire home.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This cinnamon swirl bread is the most delicious thing that I know how to make. It’s not the easiest thing I know how to make, but you can bet every bag of sugar at the grocery store that it’s the tastiest. If you have free time this week, I really think you should make this bread. Read through the instructions carefully, set out enough time for the rising of the bread, and plan on being patient with the process. The end result is life changing delicious, and you’ll be glad you have an extra loaf to stick in the freezer. You can do the extra kind thing and share your second loaf with a friend… but even I might be selfish enough to save it for myself. No judgement.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Happy Tuesday, Happy Baking, and Happy Sharing! Cheers to you!

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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5 from 5 reviews

This cinnamon swirl bread recipe makes two loaves of fluffy, buttery bread that is spiced with cinnamon and swirled with brown sugar.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 90
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Bread

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 3/4 cup warm milk (not hot or cold)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups (about 1 lb) all-purpose flour, with more for flouring surfaces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk, white reserved
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling

  • 8 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg white

For the loaves

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with two teaspoons of water
  • parchment paper

Instructions

To prepare the dough

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the warm milk and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Evenly sprinkle the yeast over top of the milk and allow the yeast to activate, about 5 minutes. The mixture should froth and foam slightly. You can stir it gently to make sure all the yeast has been moistened, but if the yeast does not foam, dump it out and start over. Once yeast has been activated, beat 1/2 cup of the flour in to the milk mixture using the paddle attachment. Once combined, add the remaining sugar, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and salt, and beat the mixture on medium speed until combined. On low speed, add the remainder of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Once evenly combined, increase the speed to medium (I use speed number 4 on my Kitchen Aid stand mixer) and add the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then continue to beat on medium speed for an additional 4 minutes. The dough will be quite moist and sticky, and will hold together in long strands when you attempt to scoop it from the bowl.
  2. Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough inside, covering it tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest until it has approximately doubled in size, about 1-1/2-2 hours. Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, prepare the filling.

To prepare the filling

  1. Combine the cooled, melted butter, sugars, cinnamon, flour, and salt, stirring until combined. Add the egg white, stirring just until combined. You will use approximately ½ cup of filling for each loaf.

To prepare the loaves

  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, line 2 loaf pans (8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 2 3/4″) with parchment paper. Cut two sheets of parchment paper- one to fit the pan lengthwise and one to fit widthwise- with some extra paper to hang over the sides.
  2. Generously flour your work surface and rolling pin. Prepare your egg wash by whisking together the egg and water. Set aside.
  3. Gently punch the dough down into the bowl once and divide the dough in half. Take one half of the dough and lay it on your floured surface. Generously dust the top of the dough with flour as well. Using your rolling pin, roll your first piece of dough as evenly as possible into a 22″x10″ rectangle. (I even use a ruler!) You may need to re-flour your work surface if the dough begins to stick. Using a pastry brush, lightly paint the outside 1/2″ edges of your dough with your egg wash. Spread half of the filling (about ½ cup) evenly inside the egg wash border.
  4. Standing with one of the long edges closest to you, begin to tightly roll your dough away from you, forming a 22″ long roll of dough. Gently pinch the dough together at the seam to seal the filling inside the roll.
  5. Spread about 1-2 tablespoons of filling on the top of the roll of dough and then fold it on top of itself, forming an 11” long folded roll of dough. Shape the loaf, by pulling the ends of the dough roll together to form a “U” shape. Twist the two ends over each other twice to form a figure 8 shape and tuck the end pieces under the dough. Place your rolled loaf in one of the prepared pans and repeat the entire process with the remaining half of dough. Once both loaves have been formed, cover again with plastic wrap and allow to rise again for about 1-1/2-2 hours. The dough should rise about 1/2-1″ over the top of the pans. Do not let them over-rise.
  6. When the dough is nearly risen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and brush the remaining egg wash over the tops of the loaves. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the tops are a dark golden brown and no longer squishy or underbaked looking. Look especially for underbaked parts in the creases of the twists on top of the loaves. Allow to cool in the pans on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes and then remove from the pan to cool completely.

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Recipe Adapted From: NYT

Pecan Toffee Blondies

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Happy November to you from Alabama where it’s still hot as fire and we’re all frying eggs on the pavement. The only time nowadays that I don’t sweat like a baby gorilla is if I’m sitting inside or standing in front of an open refrigerator. And don’t judge me, but I do that a lot.

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Celebrating Birthdays

Last week, we celebrated my birthday with friends over a  meal of stone crabs and layer cakes. I’ve only cracked crabs one other time in my life, back when Brett and I were dating and I was still trying to prove I was adventurous and fun. I typically don’t like food that requires you to work for it, but the stone crabs turned out to be a blast. Were it not for the bloodied knuckles, broken nails, and overall brute strength that was required for breaking through the shells of those tough little buggers, I probably would have cracked all night long. Plus, there was an abundance of crabs jokes, and even though lice in the nether-regions is not something to laugh about, I found it hysterical. So basically the night was a success.

Birthdays are always a big deal in my book. Even though I relish any moment for a celebration, birthdays somehow take the proverbial (and literal) cake. Any chance to celebrate people that I love with music and laughter and dessert is a winning event, if you ask me.

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Pecan Toffee Blondies

These pecan toffee blondies are not a birthday cake. These weren’t even served at my birthday party. But they are good and fall-ish and ridiculous easy to make so let’s dive in, shall we?

The blondie dough is made just the same as your average drop cookie recipe. We start by creaming the butter and brown sugar for a while until it’s light and fluffy. Next comes a few eggs followed by a dusting of flour and salt. Things get real at the end when we bring in our guests of honor: pecans and toffee bits. The sweetness from the brown sugar and toffee is offset perfectly by the pecans and salt and if you really like to get down and dirty, I’d recommend adding an extra sprinkle of each once the dough has been pressed out in the pan.

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Pecan toffee blondies are one of those foods that you need in your arsenal of recipes. You can file this recipe under “fall recipes to make for a crowd” or “pecan desserts to go nuts for” or “blondies that really do have more fun.” This is the bar I’d be making every week if it weren’t still Africa hot here in the South. I’d eat them for dessert, or afternoon snacks, or even for breakfast if you swore you wouldn’t judge me. But who am I kidding- they’re worth even that.

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

These pecan toffee blondies are a cinch to make and are a terrific dessert for any occasion. If you get a chance to try them out, let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Cheers to you!

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

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Pecan Toffee Blondies

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These pecan toffee blondies are a brown sugar blondies speckled with toasty pecans and toffee bits. They make a terrific treat to share and store well in the freezer.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 11/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 11/4 cups pecans, chopped and divided
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a jelly roll pan with baking spray or line with a Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until each are well incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low until just combined. Add 1 cup of pecans and the toffee and stir to combine.
  5. Gently spread the mixture evenly into the bottom of your prepared jelly roll pan. If you don’t have a jelly roll pan, a foil lined 9″x13″ casserole dish can be used as well. Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top. Bake in the oven at 325 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until the blondies are golden brown on top and no longer jiggly in the center. Allow the blondies to cool completely prior to cutting.

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Recipe Adapted From: Anne Thornton

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog BY Kate Wood. This is a simple crumbly butter cookie inspired by Emeril Lagasse brown sugar shortbread bars. Buttery cutout shortbread cookies that can be slice and make. Drizzle with chocolate or sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Find the simple, easy, few ingredient recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

My husband says I have a Type A personality. While I would suggest that I’m somewhere between a Type A and Type B personality, I do see some inclinations that support his thinking. Time urgency, impatience, and a short-fused temper are all tendencies that I wear frequently like a behavioral scarlet letter, however, this is often offset by a sprinkling of Type B attributes.

One area I typically lean a little Type A heavy? Decluttering.

I love a good clean-out. I love a freshly organized drawer. I love a trip to Goodwill with a car full of stuff. It’s kinda like when you get a new manicure or like that first day of school when you get to crack open that box of pens and write for the first time in a crisp, new notebook. It’s a new lease on life!

Over Christmas, my friend Jesse told me about a book by Marie Kondo, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” Curious, I purchased a copy, and after a fairly substantial skim of the book, I was in. I drank the Kondo Kool-Aid. The next day, I began to tidy.

To say that this method of cleaning was life-altering is an understatement. Whole-heartedly, unabashedly, I will tell you that this book has changed my home and life, maybe forever.

Kondo’s method of “tidying” (or as I would describe it, total-home overhauling) is a systematic process of sorting through categories of items in your home by discarding any belongings that don’t spark joy. Yes, I actually handled nearly every item in my home and asked myself the question, “Does this item bring me joy?” Quite often, the answer was no. That item got the boot.
Of course, there were exceptions. Hammers and dental floss and pencil sharpeners aren’t among things that bring me an abundance of happiness, but they do help to achieve other things that I do enjoy- art hanging on the walls, satisfactory gum health, and a newly sharpened pencil so that I can jot down thoughts to share with you kind folks. So those necessary, everyday items sometimes got to stay.

brown sugar shortbread cookies with chocolate drizzle

It took me 6 days, 20 garbage bags, and 2 trips to the massage therapist after I overdid it with my large, pregnant self before I was able to phone Goodwill to pick up my load. And ohhh, it was a load. 98% of the items in those bags were mine; I was living in such excess and I didn’t even realize it. Years of buying new storage bins and more plastic hangers and new drawer organizers was like trying to put a band-aid on the huge, gaping wound that was simply TOO. MUCH. STUFF.

The week long clear-out rid me of piles of things I no longer cared for, and likely, an infinite amount of future purchases I am now less likely to make. While I didn’t follow every facet of the book’s proposed methods, I can tell you that the ones I chose to utilize brought me an incredible amount of joy and lifted a burden of “stuff” that I didn’t even know I was carrying. I have recomended this book to countless people over the past month and now I’m passing this tidbit along to you: DO IT.  It’s fantastic. Bless someone else with your stuff and see how much easier it is to breathe when you don’t have piles of “unnecessary” staring at you in every closet.

brown sugar shortbread cookies with chocolate drizzle

Another tidbit? These shortbread. Ohhhhh, these shortbread.

Buttery, rich cookies that are addictive and practically beg for a cup of coffee. You cannot eat just one, but take it from my personal experience: you don’t want to eat more than three at a time unless you want a bellyache combined with an irrational desire to EAT. MORE. COOKIES. 

This is a recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse, and it’s one of the first things I remember baking as a teenager. Emeril’s recipe calls for baking a very similar dough in a springform pan (so delicious), but I find cookies are easier to share with friends. I’ve included two variations for these cookies: one with a cinnamon sugar topping and one drizzled with chocolate. I lean more towards the warm cinnamon flavors for this cookie, but certainly chocolate is never a bad choice. I’ll also mention that I prefer the thicker, smaller cookies as descibed in the instructions, although you’ll notice I went thinner and wider for the cookies I photographed. Either way, these cookies are incredibly worthwhile and a must-have in your arsenal of shortbread cookies. (Sidenote: if you’re the type of person who has arsenals of things like cookies, I want to know you. Let’s be friends). 

Check out Marie Kondo’s book while you’re at it. 

 

brown sugar shortbread cookies with chocolate drizzle

 

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Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

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These buttery brown sugar shortbread cookies are sweet, rich, and perfect for dessert or with an afternoon cup of coffee.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 20

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar, reserved (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon, reserved (optional)
  • chocolate ganache, chocolate melting wafers, or melted semisweet chocolate chips for drizzling (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse flour brown sugar, and salt together until well combined. Add butter chunks and vanilla to dry ingredients and pulse together until a dough forms into one ball. Try not to overwork the dough, but keep in mind this dough is dry and will take more time to come together than some. Flatten dough out into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and roll dough out to 1/4″ thickness. (See notes) Using a biscuit cutter or a 2 1/2″ round cutter, cut out cookies and place on a parchment lined baking sheet at least 2″ apart. If desired, combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over cookies. This will turn your regular old brown sugar shortbread to cinnamon sugar shortbread! If your dough has gotten warm or soft, pop in the freezer for 5 minutes to set cookie’s shape.
  3. Baked for about 12 minutes or just until edges have set. Cool on a cooling rack and if desired, drizzle with warmed chocolate. 

Notes

  • For cinnamon brown sugar shortbread, sprinkle cookies liberally with cinnamon and sugar mixture before baking. If chocolate dipped brown sugar shortbread cookies is what you’re after, apply after cookies have been baked and cooled.
  • The cookies as photographed were rolled to 1/4″ thickness and cut with a 2-1/2″ biscuit cutter. For a more traditional shortbread cookie shape, roll a smidge thicker and cut with a smaller 2″ round cutter. Any shape cookie cutter will do. Baking time will differ based on cookie shape so keep an eye on them in the oven and remove when edges are set and are just barely beginning to brown.

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Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Recipe Adapted From: Emeril Lagasse