August has been the month where I get back in touch with the side of myself that runs. My relationship with running is a complicated one. I don’t love running. I don’t like scampering through the streets with my earbuds flying everywhere. I really hate the never-ending blisters. What I do like is the results. I love the feeling of accomplishment. I like feeling like I could run from stranger danger if I had to.
Have I been forcing myself to run by choice? Not really. Historically it seems that the only thing that motivates me to go for a run is a goal. Right now it is the goal to not have my lungs on fire come Halloween when I run my first ever half marathon. I signed up for this race with the encouragement of a friend. Only later did I realize the course is in a hilly park. Like HILLLLLY. So yea, I’m scared.
This dichotomy within myself is so ingrained. Take these blondies for example (which are pretty yummy by the way)… these were my post-run snack all last week. I went so far as to read the nutrition label on the peanut butter chips to find out that they are, in fact, a better source of protein than regular chocolate chips (by 2g). Plus grapes are fruit. So it’s basically a fruit and protein bar. Well, that’s my idea of healthy. A little give, a little take. Eat a salad, marathon a TV show. Do some hills training, eat a blondie.
Ok, let’s keep talking about these blondies. Don’t you love blondies? They are so much more versatile that brownies. Sorry, not sorry, I am on team blondie. I’ve seen white chocolate, ginger, nutty, cranberry, raspberry, caramel blondies. These blondies caught my attention though. Hello, PB&J!
I wanted to go a little more classic with the flavours. Instead of blueberries, I went for grapes. I modified the recipe as the grapes definitely needed to be halved and cooked all the way through to get that gooey grape jelly feeling. I used black grapes, but I think concord grapes would be delicious if you can find them.
Everything in moderation, including moderation.
For someone who loves to eat, moderation is tough. I will probably continue to oscillate between vegetables and cookies. But hey, that’s better than all cookies, all the time, right? How do you strike a healthy balance? No really, tell me because I need to cross that finish line.
- 1½ + 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup butter, melted
- 1½ cups brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup peanut butter chips
- 1½ cups black grapes, halved
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Grease a 9"x9" baking pan and line with parchment paper.
- Sift together 1½ cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet, just until combined.
- Set aside a few grapes to adorn the top of the blondies. Toss the rest of the grapes in 1 tablespoon of flour to coat evenly, discard any excess flour. Fold in the floured grapes and peanut butter chips.
- Spread the batter evenly into the pan. Press the unfloured grapes into the batter evenly over the top.
- Place the pan in the middle rack of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until edges are golden brown and the center is set.
- Allow to cool in the pan before slicing.