“Commit acts of kindness from heart and mind. Then you will fall in love with all beings.”
Quote of the day from Khenpo Tenzin.
Kindness is for ourselves as much as for others. If there is no permanent self, we are no more or less deserving of our own love. We must love ourselves as we aspire to love all beings.
Somewhere between self-cherishing and self-chastising, there is kindness, falling in love with oneself as we fall in love with all beings.
I made blondies this weekend. We all needed a little sweetness to carry us through the depths of so much philosophy and reflection. This is a good recipe for falling in love. It is mind-meltingly delicious. Decadent, yes–sometimes we need to be enveloped in decadence to receive love. Sometimes loving oneself is the greatest form of decadence, the leisure that allows us to then love others.
This is all the good things of American baked goods of my childhood. Gooey, caramel-y, chewy-moist, brown-sugar sweet. It’s the tricked-out cousin of a chocolate chip cookie, with more depth and sensuousness on account of the nuts. It’s the follow-up classic to last week’s avant garde, and it’s ohsogood. There may have screams and moans at the dinner table when these went down. Just sayin.
Coconut Caramel Walnut Blondies
adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker
For the dough:
2 1/8 cups (265 grams) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon (3 mL) baking soda
½ teaspoon (3 mL) salt
12 tablespoons (170 grams) butter, softened
1 ½ cups (300 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 mL) molasses
1 egg yolk
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
¾ cup (120 grams) walnuts
¾ cup (180 mL) of coconut caramel
For the caramel:
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
6 tablespoons (85 grams) salted butter
½ cup (120 mL) coconut cream
1/2 cup (150 grams) unsweetened dessicated coconut
Preheat oven to 325˚ F (170˚ C). Grease an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan.
Make the caramel. Place the sugar on medium-low heat in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Cook until deep-golden, stirring gently to ensure that all the crystal are melted. Turn off heat. Add butter. Stir until completely incorporated. Add cream. Stir until completely incorporated. Add coconut and stir until evenly distributed. Set aside to cool.
Make the dough. In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until fully incorporated. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently stir in walnuts.
Press two-thirds of the dough into the prepared pan. Pour the caramel on top. Drop the remaining dough in walnut-sized blobs on top of the caramel. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Cool for one hour and serve to have melty, fondant-style blondies, or cool and then refrigerate for one hour for firmer blondies.