Brownies & Bars/ Halloween/ Recipes

Candy Corn M&M, Roasted Macadamia Nut and Sea Salt Blondies

I am in awe of really good food photography, you know the pics that you stare at that you want whatever is on the plate at your house on your table ready for you to shove in your mouth that very second because whatever is on that plate is going to be the best thing you will ever eat. That is what I want to learn. How to take pics of food as good as so many of the amazing food blogs I love to read have. There are some amazing foodie photographers out there.  I have been trying to teach myself food photography, trying to learn my camera better, and how to shoot with the best lighting possible. Since the number one key point that I read on anything and everything about food photography is lighting.

The lighting in my house I am currently in, is lacking to say the least. The only south facing windows are in one of the bedrooms with a huge palm tree and some bushes right in front. So that’s out, unless I want palm tree shaped shadows in my pics. Our garage is also south facing, but the garage gets to be a gazillion degrees and I’m too afraid that food would melt if I tried to shoot it out there.  The rest of the windows around the house have a huge overhang over them so they don’t get great light coming in. Trying to take advantage of natural light for the best pictures isn’t easy, and the hours that the best light occurs is early in the am, and right into the master bathroom where the only window is – the toilet room. Um, yeah I am not about to prop up food on the toilet seat to take pics. EW. Plus its a really small room and I probably couldn’t get the angles I wanted to. Whomever built this house didn’t have a food blogger in mind as its occupant.

The other time is a little after lunch, with the front door open and setting items up right in the entry way. This works, except I have two small kids, ages 4 and 2, that make taking pics of food challenging. Usually I can get set up and get all my shots while they eat lunch. That went great until they caught on to what I was doing and saw what I was taking pics of. So I thought maybe I could employ them to help and their reward would be a blondie. I had my 4 year old holding my foam/light bounce board and my 2 year old, well, she had other plans with how she was going to “help”

Oh look. M&Ms. I’ll just help myself, says the owner of that pudgy hand and arm.  Good thing I had a bowl of the candies and mac nuts next to me or else I would have had way less none on my table.  Stinker. Such a thief!  So now not only was I working with quickly disappearing good light, I was also working against the 2 foot tall candy snatcher.

I ended up letting both my kids have a couple M&Ms and they went back to play with their toys so I could finish taking pics. That lasted all of 30 seconds as they came running back for seconds.

The candy corn M&Ms are really just white chocolate. Don’t taste like candy corn at all. Just colored to look like them. I am not normally a fan of white chocolate, but these are strangely good. And with the roasted macadamia nuts and the huge flakes of maldon sea salt, the flavor combo of these came out a lot better than I had expected, mainly because of me not really liking how overly sweet white chocolate can be. It totally works with these, the combo of salty, sweet and crunchy is always a winner in my book. I also love how the sea salt doesn’t dissolve into the bars while baking, if you haven’t tried Maldon sea salt before I suggest you try it, it won’t disappoint.

Candy Corn M&M, Roasted Macadamia Nut and Sea Salt Blondies Blondies Yield: 32 squares

Preparation 5min Bake time: 25-30 min Total time (including cooling): approx. 80 min

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter ( 1 cup)
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped roasted macadamia nuts ( salted or unsalted)
  • 1 bag candy corn white chocolate m&ms (9.9 oz) roughly chopped, leave some whole
  • 1 tbsp maldon sea salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 Deg. Line either a 9x13 or two 8x8 pans with foil, make sure the foil wraps up over the edges
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, set aside
Over medium low heat on the stove, melt the butter and sugar together in a saucepan until all the butter is melted and the sugar starts to dissolve, stirring often.
Set aside to cool 10 minutes.
Whisk together the eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Once the butter and sugar mixture is cool add it to the egg mixture and mix thoroughly, add in the flour and stir til just combined.
Fold in the macadamia nuts and m&ms.
Pour into prepared pan or pans. Spread evenly with a spatula and sprinkle the maldon sea salt generously over the top. Add more than 1 tbsp if you like.

Bake for 25-30 min or until just set and golden.
Cool completely in pan. Lift out the blondies using the foil,set on a cutting board and cut into squares.
Enjoy!

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