Saturday, February 4, 2012

Google Chopper Bar Blondies

Google's got a reputation in Silicon Valley for providing free, tasty, and healthful food for its employees. The company has removed some sweets like M&Ms from its snack areas over the years, despite some employee protests. After all, research shows that deprivation doesn't work in the long term, but portion control does. The company's devised a system of categorizing foods by how healthful they are to help employees make smart choices:

"Green: Most Healthful Foods. Go ahead for good health! These are the best options for disease prevention and total wellness. Be sure to practice portion control with the exception of plain raw or cooked veggies. Pile these on!

Yellow: Less Healthful Foods. Ease up a bit! These items are less nutrient dense and may contain more unhealthful fats. Refined grains, moderate fat meats and green items that no longer fit due to preparation are included in this category.

Red: Least Healthful Foods. Slow down and be mindful! These foods when eaten regularly and/or in excessive quantities can contribute to health problems."

Even if sweets have largely disappeared from snack areas, Google's cafes always offer something to satisfy the sweet tooth. Company chefs have posted some of their recipes online for employees, so naturally I requested some from my husband Brad. We decided to try this one for Chopper Bars, also known as Blondies, and they turned out both delightful and delicious in our heart shaped ramekins. They definitely satisfy any chocolate chip cookie craving.

Google Chopper Bars (aka Blondies)

6 oz. butter
2 c + 2 T brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 t vanilla
2 1/4 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
2 3/4 c all purpose flour
18 oz. of mix-ins (we used 12 oz. of Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips but you could also use dried fruit pieces, M&Ms, butterfingers, Reese's pieces, toffee, etc.)

1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. Cream butter and brown sugar together. It's easier to melt the butter first in the microwave.
3. Add vanilla and eggs to the butter mixture. Mix well.
4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix well.
5. Add in your choice of mix-ins.
6. Spread batter in a 9" x 13" pan lined with parchment and sprayed.
7. Bake at 350 F for 25-32 minutes.

This recipe is definitely Code Red for a special treat like Valentine's Day. Consider making some sweets for your sweeties.

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