In the space of two weeks, my son John got a new job (first permanent after college—yippee!), a new car, and a new apartment (one where he pays the rent!).  Roger and I helped him move into his apartment last weekend.  That included getting him a platform bed at IKEA and spending an inordinately long time assembling it.

You know how global companies will print their instructions pamphlet in several different languages—English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, etc.?  Well, IKEA has come up with a creative way around this to cover everyone on the planet.  Their instructions do not contain any words! Nope.  Nada.  What their instructions do contain are lots of graphics with lots and lots of arrows pointing all over the place.  Roger, John, and I kept asking each other, “What do you think this means?”  After an hour, we were on only page 5 of 14 pages of the instructions.  It definitely reminded me of my early childhood Tinker Toy days.  The experts say to do puzzles to keep your brain sharp and maybe even delay the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms.  I figure Roger and I are good for about three months before we need to do another Sudoku.

Among a few of the things I packed up for John were a 9×9 Wilton pan (filled with blondies) and a set of measuring cups and spoons.  Of all the desserts, I would make to send back with the kids to school, blondies were probably the most frequent.  That’s because they’re so easy to make—it’s a one-bowl dessert, and you don’t need a mixer.  You can throw a batch together in under 10 minutes, and they bake up in about another 30 minutes.  Whenever I’d bake blondies to send back with the kids to school, I would use 9” square disposable aluminum baking pans, and then I didn’t have to worry about getting my pan back.  We cooks usually have a pan or two that are particular favorites, and I had a 9×9 pan that I really liked that never came back from a dessert road trip.  🙁  Lesson learned.

There was, however, a silver lining to losing that pan.  I went out and bought a new 9×9 Wilton cake pan to replace it; and, on the label which was inside of the pan was a recipe for blondies.  I compared it to the one I had been making, and it was slightly different with an extra egg in the ingredients.  I decided to try the Wilton blondie recipe, and the rest is history.  I’ve archived my blondies file and don’t have the slightest interest in looking at the recipes I haven’t tried.  This is the only one I’ve made since I found it on the Wilton label.  It’s fast, easy, and so delectable that, when we’re all home, we pretty much finish the pan off before the blondies finish cooling.  The few times we’ve had some make it to the next day, I think they’re even better if that’s possible.

So, John, if you’re reading this, all you need is a bowl and a wooden spoon (and the ingredients, of course!) to make some blondies at your new apartment.  If you bring the pan with you next time you stop by, I promise to have it filled by the time you’re ready to go!  Love, Mom


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  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional (I prefer without)


In large bowl, combine sugar and melted butter; beat with electric mixer.  Add eggs one at a time and vanilla; mix well.  Combine flour and baking powder.  Add to sugar mixture; mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using).

Pour batter into greased and floured 9″ square cake pan. Bake at 350o for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting.

Source: From the label inside of a 9×9 Wilton cake pan

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