Do you ever go on a brown sugar kick?
Okay, that’s my life. I admit it. I have an ongoing love affair with brown sugar that is never going to end. Last week, we accidentally ran out of brown sugar, and I thought I was going to sit on the kitchen floor and cry. No baker worth her salt (or sugar, in this case) can do without the good stuff.
To apologize to brown sugar everywhere and make amends, I made these blondies. Blondies are the quintessential ode to brown sugar, a bar cookie packed with caramelized goodness. Plus, these are filled with butterscotch chips. That’s the life, baby!
I’m going to keep this post relatively short because my resources are stretched a little thin these days. Too much to do, and absolutely not enough time to do it all in. I’m sure you can relate, especially if you’re a woman. You know, because we can supposedly do everything.
So here’s me reaching out to you parents out there about kids fighting. It’s gotten really bad lately between my two older children, and I’m not sure what to do. No matter what we do, the two of them wind up going at it. It’s unrelenting, and I’m at the end of my rope. They literally fight about everything. If one of them says that it’s time for breakfast, the other one will be contradictory and insist that it’s too early, late, or whatever. It doesn’t matter, as long as they can argue about it. And this just goes on all day long.
Short of resorting to losing my mind, screaming at the top of my lungs, shipping them off to boarding school or a combination of the three, I need help. How do you handle kids who seem to fight all the time? Seasoned moms, I’m asking you for tips. Help me! Please. Consider it your act of kindness for this week.
The thing is, I often feel like a terrible mother. I’m easily distracted, often busy, and have a lot of my own going on. It’s tough to give my kids all the attention they need, and even though I see my brood more than most working moms see theirs, I feel that their fighting is somehow my fault. If I’m not engaging with them constantly and directly, then it all falls apart. Mom guilt sucks.
If there’s one thing I feel less guilty about, it’s how I feed them. They do pretty well in that department. After all, I’m the mom with the goodies!
The big appeal of this recipe is that it’s made in one bowl very quickly. The blondie base is my favorite, and you can adapt it however you like. So if butterscotch chips aren’t your bag, try something else!
Okay, I’m gonna go pay attention to my kids now before my house becomes a war zone. Send help!
1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butterscotch chips
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, leaving enough to overhang the sides, and coat in cooking spray.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Take a larger bowl and mix the brown sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla until just blended. Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix until incorporated. Fold in the butterscotch chips.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges are browned. The middle will jiggle slightly, but it will harden as the bars cool. Do not overbake.
- Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.
This Post Has 20 Comments
Brown sugar makes everything better! I love swapping it for white sugar when I can. These butterscotch blondies sound fantastic! I love the texture and flavor…just perfect!
Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
Thanks, Gayle! I love the brown sugar so, so much. SO much.
Ugh! Sibling rivalries. On some level, there is absolutely nothing you can do to avoid it. It’s natural. But here’s the thing: my sister and I fought like cats and dogs when we were little. Your story about breakfast sounds like something out of our playbook. But now we get along great…in fact, we’re best friends. It just happens. You gotta let them grow up I guess? Or perhaps withhold these blondies from them if they fight? You could send any leftovers my way. I’m pretty sure I could figure out something to do with them. Hang in there, Mir! 🙂
David @ Spiced recently posted…Smoky Pepper and Onion Cheeseburger
I’m glad you and your sis worked it out. I hope my kids do. Because right now they do. Not. Stop. Fighting. Aaaaaaaah!
I don’t have kids of my own to give you any insightful advice, but I can say that if you stuff their faces full of these blondies long enough I’m sure they’d have no time left to battle each other. They look amazing! I think when my mom was raising me and my two younger sisters she just let us duke it out a lot of the time in hopes that we’d eventually grow tired of being supremely malicious little human beings. Any select combination of two would go against the other one and it was never good. Fast forward about 15 years or so and we get along really well.
I’m not sure how you feel about sending them to separate special interest “camps” for a week or so (I know these can be pricey) but it might be worth it for them to spend some time alone with other kids their age (and so you can get things done without feeling like you’re neglecting them.) I’m sure you’re a great mom, Mir 🙂
Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss recently posted…Sit and Chat Saturday 6
They do spend time wit their friends away from each other during the day, but those mornings and evenings can be tough. Thanks for the thoughts, Jess!
I could write love poems about brown sugar. I really like putting it in brownies. One time I was in the middle of baking something and realized I was out, but I saw on Martha Stewart that you can add molasses to white sugar and make your own. Who knew?! Crazy. These blondies are fulfilling all of my butterscotch dreams. They look chewy and fabulous!
Amanda recently posted…Radish Salsa
Ha. Love poems to brown sugar is right!
I love brown sugar too! Brown sugar with butterscotch, all creamy and warm tasting, is the BEST in a chewy bar! These look comforting (which ANY mother needs on the rough days). Did you ever make your own brown sugar when you run out? Easy if you have white sugar and molasses in the house. Love in tight quarters turns into bickering siblings. The NORMAL sibling squabbles have NOTHING to do with your mothering skills. Mom guilt is administered at the hospital immediately upon giving birth. My advice is to separate the kids when possible, and take deep breathes when it’s not possible (long car rides require sainthood) and know in your heart that this stage will pass….all too quickly, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. 🙂
Wendy recently posted…Bosnian Butter Cookies (Šape)
I have made brown sugar in those times. It’s kind of fun! Thanks for the reassuring mom advice, Wendy. I know that it’s not my fault, but dang, that mother guilt is crazy strong!
I wish I could help, parenting is definitely the toughest job. Hang in there, I am sure things will get better with time. It’s just their age, it has nothing to do with you not giving them enough time. I am sure you are a fabulous mom, every mom is! 🙂 Love these blondies, they look so fudgy!
Manali@CookWithManali recently posted…Peach Upside Down Cake
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Manali! It helps. 🙂
Awww, Mir! I wish I could help, but my child has fur and walks on 4 legs. She use to fight with her older sister and I would just give them both treats… in separate rooms. Maybe you should just shove some of these blondies in front of your children. I’m thinking they have to stop fighting long enough to devour a few of these! I feel your brown sugar obsession, girlfriend!! Since I can’t have chocolate I am crazy addicted to brown sugar and blondies are my JAM! Seriously loving these!! I mean butterscotch blondies?! GAH! YES! Pinned! Cheers, girlie and good luck with the kiddos!! My fingers are crossed for you.
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Grilled Halloumi & Peach Panzanella with Prosciutto
Fur kids need lots of parent psychology, too. I’m glad I had a chocolate-free recipe for you!
I used to fight a lot with my younger brother, and my mom usually scolded only me (maybe because I’m older?) But somehow we just grew out of it. I’m sure you’ll figure out your way, hang in there! Maybe giving them more blondies will help distract them from their fight?
Jasline (Foodie Baker) recently posted…Opera Cake [Giveaway Alert!]
I’ll just hang on…and drink wine!
Ahhh! The good old days… I found that no one strategy worked every time. Sometimes, catching them in the act of getting along and then calling attention to it – praising the sweet, peaceful behavior – worked. Sometimes, they needed to separate, go to their rooms and would only be allowed to come out once they could identify how they contributed to the fight (not their sibling) and how they might do it differently next time. I did find that when I put them in charge of assessing their own behavior – and praising them for trying to work it out – it helped. And if that didn’t work – I’d eat the blondies and call it a day with small kids. 😉 Hope this helps, my friend!
firstname.lastname@example.org recently posted…Kohlrabi and Summer Squash Fritters
Those are great ideas, Annie. You must be the best mom. I can tell your kids are crazy about you!
In looking for a yummy recipe to send (at my son’s request) to him in Afghanistan, I see that you need a little advice. I hope that you will see this since this post is a few months old. I remember those days when our sons were little and it seems they couldn’t stop pestering each other. Luckily, I was able to work part-time and not feel quite as stressed as I see many moms are these days. IF you can, slow down…..life is short……enjoy your children while you can.
I do understand your frustration. Here’s what I have learned in my transition from Mama to teacher of high school culinary arts students:
1. Don’t yell at them – YOU are firmly in control. Save your anger for the big stuff. When necessary, pull the trouble-maker aside and speak firmly, with conviction, making eye contact, in a passionate, caring manner…..advising them of their options.
2. Sounds like they are not only acting like normal kids, they are unknowingly screaming for your attention.
3. Use your time TOGETHER in the kitchen. Can you engage them (occupy their time) by assigning them specific tasks related to what you’re making? Examples are measuring, gathering equipment, pouring , learning how to use the mixer…….
4. And more than anything else, as a mother and especially, as a teacher, I’ve learned that kids need an incentive……you can’t have ‘this’, if you don’t DO ‘that’. In other words, outline your expectations, and reward them OR NOT, based on their behavior (your expectations).
5. Create a ‘chore chart’ of tasks and expectations that will help YOU in the quest to de-stress. If they do not complete these chores……….dusting, hanging up their clothes, emptying waste baskets, doing laundry……then they don’t get your rewards, whether it’s cookies, a movie, going to friends’ houses, etc.
6. If you’re a working mom, they should be expected to be helping you! Teach them to BE helpful and learn self-reliance…….but make it fun for them. If they know their way around the kitchen, and you outline how they must treat it, you will empower them!
My apologies if I’m sounding like a know-it-all! I think I’m a good teacher because I was a mother first. I wish I had some of the knowledge gained through being an educator when I was raising my own! (We did a great job of raising two fine men – though we certainly had our trials and tribulations!) Just remember to be patient (ha-but only to a point!), give them attention through “doing” things TOGETHER, and don’t end a day without hugs, kisses, and “I love you”! And finally, remember, YOU are their first teacher……we teachers need you to start them out right, so WE don’t go crazy! 😉 Oh – and many thanks for a great recipe!
Pamela, you don’t sound like a know-it-all at all! I appreciate all the tips. I’ll keep trying! Motherhood is a job I have yet to master…I’m not sure I ever will. 🙂 Thanks so much!