Non-Essentials

CircusAnimalBlondies4

So since they are selling the house when we are actually moving is kind of up in the air. What isn’t up in the air is packing. We are packing now. Summer is select soccer tournament time, hockey tournament time, travel and so weekends to pack aren’t really there. So we are starting now. Packing up the non-essentials. Trying to figure out what is non-essential of course is always fun.

MDP likes to point out that if we can do without something for a month or two do we really need it at all. I mentioned his skis and ski wear and said okay let’s toss that first. He said point taken. :P But of course the winter clothing can get packed away. The décor that is simply just that. Pictures and artwork can come down. And cookbooks. Ironically as I was packing up cookbooks someone on a FB page that I follow asked if you could only have 10 cookbooks which would they be. Super hard question of course. But one in a way I have to answer as I am not keeping all of them out front and center (though I will keep out more than 10). But here is what I came up with (and yes they are almost all baking):

Baking: From My Home to Yours

Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth

The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts

The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th Edition

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes

The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country’s Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe

Secrets from a Caterer’s Kitchen: The Indispensable Guide for Planning a Party

Momofuku Milk Bar

Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table: Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Southern Alaska

What about you? Could you get down to just 10 cookbooks? If so what would be on your list???

Now of course some things you just know basic recipes for after years and years of baking/cooking so you don’t need a cookbook. Blondies are one of those things for me. I have a basic recipe from a class I took years and years ago and I just adapt it over and over. This time around I wanted to use Circus Animal Cookies. They are my favorite store bought cookie and they just make you feel happy. Between the dog (who continues to improve) and the move…I wanted happy. What I didn’t plan on is the hockey team LOVING these. And I mean LOVING these. Which means you probably will LOVE them too.

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Circus Animal Cookie Blondies

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Plugra)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I used Imperial)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (I used Rodelle)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Flour)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups Circus Animal Cookies, divided
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9-x-13-inch pan with baking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F.
  3. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Add vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.
  6. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed just until the dough starts to come together.
  7. Take 2 cups of the Circus Cookies and crush them.
  8. Add them to the mixer with it on slow speed. Mix until the ingredients are fully combined.
  9. Spread evenly into prepared pan, smooth with a spatula.
  10. Add the remaining cup of Circus Animals…but strategically place them where you would like and add sprinkles if you would like as well.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean.
  12. Let cool on wire rack.
  13. Cut into squares and serve. Prepare for hockey team members to fight you for them.
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Comments

  1. I absolutely LOVE the Momofuku Milk Bar book as well. Another one of my favs is the Craft Beer Cookbook by Jackie Dodd. And you can’t forget, the Star Wars cookbook – I mean Wookiee Cookies, come on! :)

  2. Animal crackers are my husbands favorite thing EVER – his birthday cake is all decided thanks

  3. Peabody says:

    Oh @jamie I own those both as well :-)

  4. Most adorable bars ever!!!

  5. I would only need two: my big blue binder of recipes, and my mom’s near-identical-but-much-older one. :) For the other ten I’d probably pick the ones I’ve used most. The basic Pillsbury Cookbook is the only one that comes to mind, but I’m sure there are others. I have to confess I don’t use many cookbooks and the ones I do are from my mom’s collection. I splurge too much on other books to start buying cookbooks too!

    I still swear that Circus Animal Cookies have to have crack in them they’re just so good. One taste, one whiff, and I’m ready to inhale them in all their storebought, artificially colored glory. :D In a buttery golden blondie…I think these are a heart attack worth the consequences!

  6. Our Landlord died last year. His kids took over and there has been nothing but bickering since. We’ve been avoiding it at all cost. Well 2 weeks ago his son called and said we had until August 1st and they want us out, Ugh! We’ve been here for 9 years. I’ve been doing what y’all are doing. Packing the non-essentials. I also was like your husband if we can do without it for 2 months do we honestly need it, lol…And your point is well taken as yes there are some things that will be needed later…It isn’t easy deciding what stays and what goes! Thank goodness I don’t have to choose on my cookbooks, lol. They are all going with me! You just never know when you might need them….

  7. I know it’s hard to give up a beautiful summer day, but try to set aside at least one for a yard sale. There’s nothing better than some cold, hard cash to fund a move. And don’t just put out the good stuff, people will buy stuff that you think is totally junk. You could sell some baked goods too. I’d certainly show up for that yard sale!

  8. Peabody says:

    @Jeri- sadly the HOA does not allow yard sales. The only day of the year they allow that is when the town has a whole day dedicated to it.

  9. Peabody says:

    @WendyN -oh no I couldn’t even imagine after 9 years. SO, SO sorry.

  10. Megan P. says:

    I’m with KB… I have four binders of tried and liked recipes that I keep out (Breads & Breakfast, Canning, Desserts, and what I’ve dubbed “The Dinner Bible”). I also have a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. The rest of my cookbooks aren’t even in the kitchen.

  11. Oh My My – those are completely adorable cookie/blondies! My hubbs absolutely loves, loves, loves those circus cookies . . .and blondies. You are a genius!

    As for cookbooks . . .oy vey. 1. Truffles, Candies & Confections, 2. Betty Crocker Cookbook (which is older than me) 3. 4. and 5. Would be my three personal “cookbooks”, 6. Minnesota cookbook (can’t remember the actual title, but was a ladies-aide type cookbook and it’s really old and has been taped together several times). 7. Monticello Marching Band Cookbook (another local favorite that is almost as old as me) 8. Ms. Mary Bobo’s (my latest cookbook that I am working through) . . .. and it would be a complete toss up for the last two ;)

  12. foxyvee says:

    Marcy Goldmon: Passion for Baking
    Cooks Illustrated: Baking Book
    Any Southern Living Yearly Cookbook ( I have them from 78′ till 96′)
    My cookbook from 1930′s that bought from a booksale – I haven’t made any recipes from it – but I love to read it

    I agree with Lucy above my “personal cookbook” which is complied of many handwritten recipes from friends/family and online recipes that I have printed but can’f find online anymore.

  13. We are moving too! It has definitely helped me cut down my cookbook collection because shipping ANYTHING all the way across the country is expensive, so you have to really love it! I am also keeping way more than 10. :) But, probably my top 10 list is:

    1. Twenty Dollar, Twenty Minute Meals
    2. Baking from My Home to Yours
    3. The New Best Recipe
    4. Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
    5. Moosewood Cookbook (or another Mollie Katzen…it would be hard to decide which one!)
    6. Tender (or again, something else by Nigel Slater)
    7. Home Made
    8. The Mac + Cheese Cookbook
    9. Joy of Cooking
    10. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

  14. When I had to pack up my apartment to be stored in a PODS I had a really hard time deciding what to pack in storage and what to take with me to my parents house. It was a bit daunting because not only is it hard to predict what you will need, but I have no idea how long this hiatus will last. Unfortunately all my cold weather gear went in there (this was in January) and with winter lingering as long as it did and these cold spells now in spring it’s been quite annoying to not have more than one hoodie. Dumb.

  15. I could never limit myself to 10 cookbooks, but I know I couldn’t live without Southern Plate’s cookbooks. Or Heidi Swanson’s cookbooks. Total opposite end of the spectrum, but equally essential.

  16. Wow, I would love to have the space for ten cookbooks. You’re very lucky.

  17. These are the cutest bars ever! I love this!

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