Thursday, November 8, 2018

Twix Blondies and a Halloween Recap


This begins my annual Halloween post. The post I write every year detailing what my kids wore on Halloween night, what their Jack-o-lanterns looked like all lit up and glimmering spookily in the night, and, at the end, a recipe utilizing a small portion of the pounds and pounds of candy they collected from our neighbors. This recipe for Twix blondies is definitely one of my absolute favorite ways to use candy bars in baking. My kids collected an exorbitant number of fun size Twix bars this year and they are more inclined towards the sugary sweets rather than the chocolate so they were more than happy to donate their Twix for this recipe. Plus, I just portion the blondies out and freeze them individually wrapped to use in their lunches in the coming months. So, they still get to eat their candy, just in a re-purposed manner. So don't feel too sorry for them. My sisters always tease me about using my kids' candy for baking.


But before we get to this incredible recipe, lets recap how the kids looked in their costumes. We actually trick-or-treated three separate times because we're insane and really enjoy standing in long lanes while waiting for our turn to beg for candy. Instead of putting together new costumes for the kids, I just told them to hunt through their dress up box and find something to wear. Unfortunately, that didn't work too well for Matthew who has grown so tall over the past year that nothing fit him. He had his eye set on dressing up as Spider-man after seeing a costume at Costco while we were shopping. I told him that he could earn the costume dollar by dollar by performing extra tasks around the house. Matthew diligently pulled weeds, raked the yard, picked up dog poop, and dusted furniture, eventually earning enough to purchase his costume. He was proud.


Emma also wanted to earn enough money to purchase a new costume. She had spied a fairy costume at Costco and I told her that she could do the same as Matthew and perform extra chores to earn it. She worked hard for a day and earned a total of three dollars before deciding that it was just too much work and abandoning the project. She chose to be Princess Belle while trick-or-treating at the zoo and then switched to wearing Matthew's old dragon costume when the weather got more chilly. She was perfectly happy with her choice and the dragon costume strangely fit her personality.



Lucia, my sweet little girl, was the only one of my children who did not complain for a new costume. Rather, she was more than happy to wear a different costume from her dress up box for each trick-or-treat outing. First, she was Doc McStuffins, wearing the same costume she wore last year, at the Boo at the Zoo. Then, she decided to be Minnie Mouse, complete with wearing a pair of my pumps. I really had to talk her out of shuffling around in those. Finally, for the chilly Halloween night, she wore a baby elephant costume she had found in one of our clothing bins that I had completely forgotten about.



And baby Daniel was a character from the 100 Acre Wood each time, Tigger first and Eeyore second. Paul wasn't too happy with the Eeyore costume since it was a pink and purple color and little old ladies kept coming up and telling us how beautiful our baby girl was, but it didn't bother me. Eeyore is a boy after all and someone telling me my baby is beautiful is always a welcome compliment.


And once again, I could not get Paul to dress up in a costume so he just went as a grumpy old man. I went as a tired Mom.




As typical, we began Halloween night with a simple dinner of subs and pizza. Lucy picked out decorations for the table, including "spooky spider" napkins and plates. Emma made a hand out of popcorn and candy corn at school that she just had to have displayed in the center. The kids ate well before lighting our jack-o-lanterns on the front porch. I actually helped carve the pumpkins this year, but I'm really not so great at it. Emma wanted me to make a spooky cat and while I was carving it I accidentally cut out the ear and dislodged the whole body from the circle meant to hold it intact. I propped it up with toothpicks long enough to have it lit, but by the end of the night the entire thing had fallen out of the pumpkin. Epic fail.


The kids drew their own designs for the pumpkins. Lucy adamantly wanted a sad pumpkin.


Matthew went with a big, happy pumpkin. With eyebrows. He was very adamant about it having eyebrows.


And Emma wanted to the pumpkin face adorning the front of her favorite stuffed animal "pumpkin bear", a teddy bear inside a jack-o-lantern that she has been sleeping with the for the past couple of years.


It was a freezing cold night. The kids did great despite the frigid air with the exception of Daniel. He wanted none of it and made his opinion known. He lasted a grand total of three blocks before I turned around to take him back home. Lucy chose to join me. Daniel was much happier once we got him in front of a roaring fire which is where he wanted to be in the first place. I was secretly glad that he gave me an excuse to get home.


Matthew and Emma did a few more blocks with Paul before they also retreated inside. Not that they had any lack of candy. I don't think we have ever collected so much candy. I'm crying just thinking about all the cavities.


So when I took about 30 mini Twix bars to make these blondies, it did not make so much as a dent in the actual candy collection of these kids. And between you and me, I would gladly buy a bag of mini Twix just to be able to make these blondies. They are sweet, salty, and extremely addictive. They have a bit of a different texture than other blondies thanks to the shortbread cookies in the Twix bars and I personally just love it! So did Paul and all the kids. Way better than eating a Twix bar straight up.


Twix Blondies

3/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon flaked (or coarse) sea salt
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
30 mini Twix bars coarsely chopped - about 2 cups worth.
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil and coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the butter and brown sugar on low speed. Add in the eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt and mix until smooth.

With the mixer still on low add the the flour and mix until just combined.

Stir in the Twix and chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.

Spread batter into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes until the edges are set and the center is almost set.

Cool completely before cutting into bars.

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