Church Bake Sale

Our parish has a fall festival every year and I just came back home from dropping off some goodies for the bake sale (and previewing all of the other good stuff being delivered). :) This is something we look forward to every year; one reason being that we get to eat some of the best tamales ever!
Although I really wanted to try out my new tombstone and coffin cookie cutters, I went with pumpkins. Maybe I'll get to those next week. :)

I tried a new flavor of cake ball....chai-spiced. While I wasn't crazy about them, my husband who "tested" 3 for breakfast yesterday loved them, as did my son, so I was over-ruled. I used vanilla almond bark instead of candy melts this time, so that may have been why I didn't like them as much.

For the cake balls, I used a white cake mix and substituted a strongly brewed chai tea for the water. I also used 3 eggs in place of the 3 egg whites called for on the package. The flavor was really subtle....I added a touch of cinnamon, ginger and cardamon to the batter as well and might even add more if I try them again.

The instructions for putting them all together are here. If you've never tried them before, I recommend starting with the Pumpkin Spice Cake Balls.
Last, but not least, Toffee Blondies!!! Now, these, I AM crazy about! They are super easy and really, really good! I used a bench scraper to cut them. (My dad gave me this one from Sur La Table; I love the ruler along the sides!) It make cutting brownies, blondies, etc. so easy.
Toffee Blondies
(adapted from Everyday Food)

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 c packed light brown sugar (I've used a combo of dark & light, too)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla (the first time I made these, I was out of vanilla...the horror! I used almond extract. I've made them that way ever since)
1/4 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 c flour
1 c toffee bits (this time I could only find the chocolate covered toffee bits, both taste great, but I think the plain ones make for prettier blondies.)

Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom and side of an 8 inch square pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.

Cream butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla and salt, scraping down sides.

Add the flour on low speed until combined. Stir in toffee bits.

Spread batter into prepared pan (an offset spatula helps). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pan.

Lift the blondies out of the pan using the foil overhang. Cut with a bench scraper or serrated knife.



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