Baking & Bugs

Bonjour mes amis, I have a question to ask you all… don’t you absolutely love baking at night? In my case I love it especially when everyone is out but even when everyone is asleep, you can still just wiggle down in your jammies and no one will look at you with raised eyebrows when you eat the batter ;) (more than one spoon… shhhh no one is looking)

So that was the kind of evening I envisioned for myself yesterday night when my family was out, my brother was asleep and it was just me, my impulse and a huge bag of chocolate chips, blocks and ingredients begging to be used :D

And so there I went, iPod plugged in, dancing and whisking around, eatingmelting my chocolate and butter, cracking eggs, all the usual stuff when one of my chocolate chips rolled in behind the toaster. I popped in my baking and then went straight to clean it up. Seeing as summer is right around the corner, it had to be removed, lest it melted and attracted all the wrong kinds of guests.

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And that’s when I saw one had come a little bit early.

Shocked is a little bit of an understatement… it was big, black, thankfully not furry, but fast scuttling on its twiggy little legs. It went this way, and that way, and this way and all over my phone, my recipe and all I could do was stand there, feeling like my heart was about to pop out of my chest and that my lungs would burst from hyperventilation style breathing.

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You may see this as a bit of an overreaction – god knows my family does considering I can hold snakes and pet them quite happily. But I. HATE. BUGS. Something, anything, small with eyes the size of its stomach and more than 4 legs is not normal! Perhaps if they looked like those cute but dirty buggers in Mortein ads, I would not be scared to put them outside but please, these are more than dirty, they are horror movie scary – NO WORSE!

Anyway, so while I was dying, contemplating whether to wake up an exhausted brother to save me from this could-be-life-threatening insect, my heart suddenly stopped. It had disappeared. Ok, so now it was a ghost freak too. Just what I need right? ;)

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But hey, it was gone and that was cool so I went about relaxing while white chocolate aroma wafted around me. I went upstairs to check something, came back to find it was flying. Excuse me but microevolution in my kitchen? It made me want to cry, vomit and die all at the same time… :P

It fluttered off towards some couches and *PING* off goes the timer – I literally ran into the kitchen, took out the bakes for a wire rack, checked the oven was off, closed all the doors and ran like some banshee upstairs.

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Whatcha gonna do now bug? ;)

Now honestly you think bugs are more scared of you than you are of them? Please…

I reckon my blondies were absolutely the perfect way to comfort myself while my mum rolled her eyes and asked how I would ever live by myself. They were chock a block full of anything that would make someone go high with happiness and team that with fudgy perfection of white chocolate.

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Bug… what bug? ;)

Double Peanut Chocolate Blondies
Source: Adapted from Exclusively Food

Makes: 24 slices

Ingredients:

  • 120g butter
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 60g self raising flour
  • 160g plain flour
  • 100g peanut butter chips
  • 100g milk chocolate chips
  • 50g salted beer nuts (peanuts), skinned
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  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbs vanilla essence
  • 112g caster sugar
  • Crushed peanuts (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (160 degrees C fan-forced oven)
  2. Line a 27.5x18cm rectangular slice pan with aluminum foil and then line with a baking paper (the foil prevents overbrowning which is so common in blondies)

    Just place the baking paper on top as always, no need to grease :)

    Just place the baking paper on top as always, no need to grease :)

  3. Melt the butter and 200g of white chocolate in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and melt until smooth. Set aside
  4. In a large bowl, stir together flours, both types of chips and the beer nuts together (not the crushed peanuts)
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  5. Stir sugar into the melted chocolate mixture
  6. Stir in one egg at a time, stirring quickly and the essence (after the first egg, the mixture will look like its separating but add the second egg and keep at it :D)
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  7. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in white chocolate mixture
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  8. Stir together until just combined and then transfer to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the crushed peanuts if desired
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  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out with gooey crumbs
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  10. Let sit till at room temperature then remove the baking paper and cut into slices to serve. If it is humid, refrigerate for an hour before cutting.
  11. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge if it is too hot.

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Oh yes, then please, go ahead and indulge in it ;)

And if there are any bugs around, have a bit more backbone than me :)

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123 Comments

  1. Heather says:

    That sounds like one crazy scary bug – the flying part would have sent me running upstairs too! The look totally decadent and worth your little run in with the 8 legged creept crawly!

  2. Sophie33 says:

    I can understand completely your problem with bugs! I feel the same way. I kill them straight away, even spiders because my husband is very scared of spiders! :(

    Your beautiful creations look just stunning & I want a few to savour, right now, please! xxx

  3. Kathleen Richardson says:

    No picture of the bug?! Well, okay, the blondies look so much better than any creature. I agree that nighttime is a great time to raid the kitchen and bake.

  4. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I DO NOT LIKE BUGS…but having a 6 year old boy who’s into insects and reptiles, sometimes there is no choice but dealing with some. Never get used to it. Your blondies look fabulous! I’d touch one bug if you can give me some of your blondies…hehee.

  5. You did not overreact. Bugs are terrifying!!! My little kitty will happily get them for me when they boys are not around to help out, but I still run from the room screaming, especially from anything that flies when I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to. Bees fly. Bugs DO NOT. We should make sure they get the memo.
    Anyway, I love a good blondie. You earned these, miss. I hope you ate at least half the pan.

  6. Baking Gypsy says:

    Ahhhh there is nothing better than baking at night…or better yet having the entire house to yourself….I become a mad scientist in the kitchen when I’m alone…don’t get me wrong I love my fam, but sometimes when I’m in the ‘zone’ I turn into a mini gordon ramsay. Not good I know, I know…on the bright side not even bugs like gordon ramsay ;)

    Anyway, your blondies look amazing, Uru…hmmm I was about to insert a ‘blonde’ joke here but I think that would have been a bit too cheesy! LOL!!

    *hugs*
    Tammy

  7. LOL!! Bugs are Mr GG’s department :0 I have been know to hide under the blankets waiting for him to kill a spider or bug. (I wanted to make sure it didn’t land on me)

    Love the look of this slice YUMMY!

  8. I feel your pain! I hate spiders! Like you I can handle snakes or any kind of animal but SPIDERS NO!!!!
    I’ve made brownies for years but had never heard of blondies until I started blogging. I Love your recipe. I really will have to have a go at making it. When I get a minute to spare. :-)

  9. jen laceda says:

    I HATE bugs, too!!! But I LOVE baking also! See, we are already compatible in that aspect! I, too, love baking when no one is around to bug me…it’s sort of like a meditative therapy for me – haha! Wish I can take a bite of these blondie bars NOW!

  10. Oh the bugs! Don’t you just hate them? My house used to get ants all the time, I think older houses just do so I always had to be careful what I left out. I even accidentally ate an ant once…a dead one though. :( Those bars look SO delicious!!!

  11. Becky says:

    Uru,
    I don’t like bugs, either, but I can “dispose” of them. However, I love these blondies with the different types of chips, and the peanuts,mmmm!

  12. Suzie says:

    Oh, those blondies look so inviting! I’m not a big fan of bugs myself. Particularly spiders. I have had a huge spider in my mailbox for a few weeks now and I refuse to get the mail…ha ha!

  13. Tisa says:

    Oh how lovely these look, I love blondies and with the double chocolate- bring it on. I have the bug phobia, so your story resonates.
    Beautiful pictures, too, Uru!

  14. eliotthecat says:

    You have inspired me again. I spent the day baking yesterday and made overly greasy muffins (but not the ones I posted today!) :), kinda’ crumbly pumpkin bars, and bread that could have done double-duty as a frisbie (but a very hard and dangerous frisbie). Maybe I should give it a go at night! :)

  15. LMAO, Uru, reading this post was like reading something I had written. I am absolutely PHOBIC when it comes to bugs, spiders, creeper crawlers, flying insects, etc. Once, I was home alone and there was a spider on the wall. I couldn’t even bring myself close enough to vacuum it up. So, I sat there for two hours, watching it so that it wouldn’t disappear and come back out to scare me later, and made my grandma kill it as soon as she got home. I can TOTALLY relate to how you were feeling. As for baking, I love doing it at all times of day but sadly, the evenings are the only time I can spare a few moments (when the lighting is the absolute worst for photos!). These blondies look amazing. I can’t wait to try them (minus the scary bug appearance – lol).

  16. applec says:

    My favorite baking time is in the morning. Then I have all day to eat the results :)
    As for bugs, I HATE it when they disappear. I’m so afraid they’ll come back and land on me.
    My conundrum is when I see a spider. I’m too supersticious to kill it but I can’t stand to let it run away. EEEK! Call the exterminator!

  17. I dare not to bake at night! How could one resist eating them after they are right out from the oven? And every ounce of sugar and fat just go to the waist….and that’s something I am so afraid of….but then again, you are YOUNG! ;-))
    These peanut bars look absolutely droolworthy!

  18. ASHLEA says:

    Yikes! Definitely hate dealing with bugs, but these blondies look amazing and have just about everything I love! Thanks for sharing and I must try these soon!

  19. Denise says:

    Beautiful blondies! Great photos and yummy sounding recipe! I often cook at night. People who know me know I love to just be “in my zone” when I cook. I am normally very social but I just love the creative outlet of cooking by myself best.
    I can just imagine you dealing with that bug but wanting to finish these lovely treats
    :-) I am not fond of bugs especially when they surprise me! I have heard you have lots of BIG spiders and bugs in Austrailia. We don’t get too many bugs here in Colorado. I think it is too dry. But we do have dangerous spiders–eww!

  20. Barbara says:

    Ants are annoying, but come with the territory in Florida. It’s anything bigger I don’t like. (Hate snakes!)
    Your blondies look lovely and nary an ant in sight.

  21. daisyandthefox says:

    totally agree with you in the dancing to music by yourself while cooking area! and those blondies look amazing!!! yummmmmm!!!
    and as for the bug – that silly bugger is most likely dead.. your out of the woods! phew!! :)

  22. Liz says:

    Oh, these look divine!!!! Bugs give me the creeps, too, but I’m still the designated bug killer for my daughter. I may have to use that line, “how will you ever live by yourself?” on her, too :)

  23. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Luckily you had the beautiful blondies to distract you from the bug. I saw the biggest cockroach I’ve ever seen in my life in Sydney a couple of weeks ago; so I reckon you do giant bugs very well up there!
    PS. Love cooking at night too. The silence. *bliss*

  24. Balvinder says:

    No idea if bugs are more scared of humans as much as we are of them but I hate all types of bugs and reptiles. You can pet a snake!! Have you come across a lizard in your life? That’s the scariest…..Anyway i will ignore any bug flying around if I see such wonderful blondies in front of me.

  25. Kailey says:

    Baking makes me SO happy – I usually whip out cookies like none other during finals week because I am so stressed haha.

    Blondies look to die for.

  26. Oh no!!! Bugs I HATE THEM I HATE THEM SO SO SO much! I literally refuse to walk into the kitchen last time we had bugs until we got the guy to come over and spray the whole house!

    But you still made some very yummilicoius BLONDIES :) Well done xox

  27. I do ALL my baking at night. From 9pm onwards. I’ve even once gone down at 3am when I couldn’t sleep but yes, I too hate bugs. In fact, the other night I was prepping for baking and I saw somethiing black moving out the corner of my eye. It was a mahooosive spider about half the size of my hand! Eeks!

    The blondies do look like a fantanstic way to comfort yourself. I’ll take some right now to comfort myself too! Loving the sweet and saltiness in this recipe too. Yum!

  28. I’m not a late night cook but I would surely love to wake up to find that someone had done it for me – stop by any night. As for you bug – yikes – you’ve read about my stink bugs so you know exactly how I feel about them.

  29. Few words can describe how fantastic those pools of white chocolate, salty peanuts and butterscotch chips look, yum! I’m sure you’re at your happiness when you bake and isn’t that what weekends were made for! :)

  30. navane64 says:

    Nice treat and love the color and outcome. I don’t bake at night, anyway there’s only two of us at home and my other half is mostly traveling, so I have the house to myself.

  31. kitchenriffs says:

    Good recipe, better story! Really fun. My wife has the same reaction that you do to bugs – just hates them. But only when they’re in the house – when she’s outdoors gardening, she’s fine with exact same bugs running around. In the house? She’ll join you dashing up the stairs!

  32. viveka says:

    Regarding your bad bugs … I think they find us so soon we relax and have a couple of days off – they can’t find us when we are busy … *laughter. Hope you’re feeling a lot better now. Hate bugs … the bad ones.

  33. viveka says:

    You really have a baking bug .. and it’s a healthy and good one. Could indulge myself with a couple of those squares … just now – You’re so talent and still a happy amateur, stay that way … for ever.

  34. Brittany says:

    This was great hahah I loved the story! I hear you for the most part, bugs can be startling. They don’t scare me all that much though so I cannot empathize with you. NOW if I put my fear creature into the picture then yes..I would have cried/died/vomited all at the same time! The blondies look delicious though, job well done!

  35. ROFL You are hilarious! What a funny story! At least in the morning you were comforted with your lovely baking. Yum!! Those blondies look beyond delicious. Do you really pick up snakes? Eeek, we get deadly ones here in the jungle, so I have a fear snakes and, admittedly, I don’t much care for bugs (especially ants that swarm in armies) either. I do save baby geckos that get into our house though.

  36. I don’t mind snakes either but I am noooooot a bug fan! And you poor thing, you live in Australia! There are BIG bugs there!!! (My arachnaphobic bestie spent a summer…well…your winter…in Australia and she still speaks in hushed tones about an incident with her shower and a huge spider)

    I give you permission to eat all the blondies and not share any.

  37. Ramona says:

    You are so funny. You can pet a snake (that would give me a heart attack), but bugs scare you. We would be a great team… I can deal with bugs, you and wrangle the reptiles. Now, I don’t “like” bugs.. but I can maneuvering them out of the house or eliminate them if there is not other way to handle the situation. The lizards in my garden during spring and summer literally paralyze me with fear sometimes. EEEeek!

    I’m glad these blondies didn’t get sidetracked by that dastardly bug! Well done. Unfortunately, I can’t bake at night when everyone is sleeping… I feel like every bang and noise I make will wake them up…. I bake in the day time… banging my post and pans away. I guess I am a loud cook/baker :)

  38. I am with you on the bugs…hate them. Thankfully, I live in a dry climate and now it’s almost winter so nary a bug in sight! Love it. I love your blondies, they look super awesome and bug free :). That’s funny, I almost made some yesterday but I ended up taking a nap like your mum instead.

  39. Jasline says:

    I love baking at night, but only recipes I’ve tried before as the lighting at night makes it really hard to take good photos. I can’t stand bugs flying around me either, am always very worried they’ll land on me! The blondies look delicious, lucky you managed to get away from all the bugs!

  40. Kimby says:

    Uru, your blondies turned out great, considering the ordeal you went through! (Thanks for the tip about lining the pan with foil, too.) I figure I’m bigger than any ol’ bug, so they don’t bother me much. ;)

  41. Oh, you poor dear. I send you transcontinental hugs. I don’t like bugs, but I don’t hate them as much as spiders. Usually, I just set my cat on them. Wanna borrow him? I’ll trade for some of these blondies. They look fabulous!

  42. You crack me up with that description of a bug. Lady, bugs are horrible especially around food, I´m with you there! And flying bugs are the worst. Blondies with a large amount of white chocolate should make things good again! Amazing!

  43. I have no backbone where bugs are concerned. We leave the door open often so the cats and dog can come and go so every once in a while we get those flying bugs. I swear they’re the size of Volkswagens. I don’t do bugs well. I know we’re not supposed to spray but.. bugs gotta go to heaven. I don’t like spiders, beetles or anything that crawls, flies or bites.

    I could pretend to faint and need one of these blondies to recover – I’m sure it would help.

  44. Ugh, I can’t even think of such horrific bugs with these beautiful bars in front of me! Nope, nothing bad could happen with those around… I think they might be even more amazing with macadamia nuts instead of peanuts, so now I’m tempted to give it a try.

  45. Veronica says:

    Ahaha, you crack me up! I don’t mind bugs too much but roaches I hate with a passion. Well, I hate any bug that has the audacity to come into my home. Hey, you bugs go stay outside where God intended and leave me to my own space! But as far as being scared…I’m not too much of a wuss and it only took me 32 years to get hard core about it. So you’re on your way. LOL!

    Now as for the blondies. YES! Bravo! I’m digging these so hard right now. Pinning!

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