Today is National Chocolate Day. Why anyone needs an excuse for chocolate is beyond me. And, with Halloween just days away, chocolate is practically one of the food groups.
I know that homemade trick or treat goodies are frowned upon in this day and age. With visions of razor blades and pharmaceuticals, every parent wants hermetically-sealed store-bought candy for their little goblins. Or they want clementines and toothbrushes. (At this time of year, I'm always nostalgic for my Grandma Neelly's popcorn balls. That was my favorite goody from our Byers United Methodist Church Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF outings.)
But if you have a Halloween gathering, fall festival, tailgate or Royals watch party for which you need a treat, these Milky Way Blondies could be the perfect choice. Just like that glittery crown for your little princess or the cape for your Superman, these candy-filled blondies are the finishing touch for a sweet dessert spread.
The original recipe called for mini Milky Way bars, so I suppose you could "appropriate" a few out of your little ghost's treat bag. ("Steal" is such an ugly word.) But I used a package of the Milky Way Bites. They are already unwrapped and the perfect miniature size - making them ready to toss into the blondie batter. And, just in case there's not enough gooey goodness, you throw in some more chocolate chips and caramel bits.
Any of the candy bite flavors could be substituted. You like peanut butter and chocolate? Use the mini Reece's PB Cups, along with some peanut chips and chocolate chips. Do you prefer Snickers? Use those, along with your favorite ad-ins.
Trick or treat? I vote for treat!
Milky Way Blondies
Adapted from Crazy for Crust2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup caramel bits
1 cup chocolate chips
1 bag unwrapped Milky Way Bites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9- by 13-inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.
Cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and add to creamed mixture. By hand, stir in caramel bits, chocolate chips and Milky Way Bites. Press into prepared pan.
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until golden brown, taking care not to overbake. The center will still be jiggly when you take them out of the oven. They will firm up as they cool. Cool completely before slicing into 24 squares.
You may substitute other candy bites for the Milky Way. You may use different flavors of chips - from butterscotch to cinnamon to white chocolate. (For example, use the mini Reece's Peanut Butter unwrapped bites with peanut butter chips.) The possibilities are endless.