For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to enter a baking competition. But I never would, because I’m chicken. The thought of losing… I don’t know, maybe I watched too much or didn’t watch enough Back to the Future as a kid but man, that kind of rejection? Not something I can handle, thanks.
Then a Williamsburg-based outfit called City Reliquary tweeted at me BECAUSE UGH THE INTERNET WHY IS IT THE WORSSSSSST THERE IS AN EMAIL ADDRESS RIGHT THERE IN MY PROFILE asking if I would donate a batch of Crack Brownies to a bake sale fundraiser they were holding for themselves. Oh man, and how flattered was I? So flattered that I agreed to donate a batch of the brownies and also a batch of something new I’d been working on, a recipe that to me is the Holy Grail of baked goods: Ooey Gooey Maple Blondies.
There is a small subset of superior humans who understand that maple is the greatest flavor profile in all the lands and all the seas, and those people just moaned right out loud, sitting there in their desk chairs. Don’t worry, the recipe is forthcoming, so that you can have a weekend project; I just need to work through some things first.
Back to Williamsburg: It turned out that in addition to the bake sale, the City Reliquary was also holding a baking competition. I gingerly asked if I could maybe enter a batch of the maple blondies in the contest, figuring that for sheer novelty, not to mention the fact that they are absolutely delicious—and I say this as someone who actually is kind of modest about her own achievements (no really. Stop laughing.)—they’d be a pretty tough to beat.
I was, um, not correct.
Those motherfuckers. They… they… I can’t even believe they did this. They voted my maple blondies first runner up.
The winner, my contact told me in the most grovelling terms possible, was a “traditional chocolate brownie.” And then! THEN! He had the nerve to ask me to enter the competition again next year, but with the crack brownies.
You know what? No I will not. Fuck you, Williamsburg! A traditional chocolate brownie? That’s what your limited little mind chose as the best of the bar and brownie category? You’ve got about as much imagination as the Upper East Side. Less actually, because you’ve never rolled into a black tie sporting a pair of pants that look like this without the benefit of irony.
Your bad taste and dessert myopia and, undoubtedly, terrible personal odors have robbed me of my will to live. Before I go, though, I do want to give the maple people the recipe. Consider it my legacy.
• In a large-ish saucepan, melt together 1 stick of butter (that’s 8 tablespoons or 113.4 grams, for those of you who are metrically oriented) (I don’t know, okay! I just used some converter thingie?) and 1 cup of brown sugar, stirring frequently to combine.
• Pull the pan off the heat and stir in ½ teaspoon of maple flavoring, ⅓ cup maple syrup and 1 teaspoon salt. Give everything a chance to cool off so that when you stir in the egg you don’t wind up with scrambled maple eggs, because yuck.
• When things have chilled out, go on and mix in 1 egg and 1 cup of flour. Pour the batter into a greased 8”x8” pan and bake the blondies at 350 for 20 minutes. That’s all she wrote!
A word about maple flavoring: It can be a teeny bit hard to find, but any decently sized grocery store should carry the imitation stuff. If you’re a snob—*side-eyes certain editors* [Editor's Note: Yesss?]—pure maple flavoring/extract exists to validate the fact that you’re an asshole. [Editor's Note: Correct! See here!]
I guess at this point I could suggest that you make a batch of these and a batch of Crack Brownies and bring them down for your very own bake-off at Zuccotti Park, but honestly I’m too depressed to do anything other than lie in bed and weep gently for the sorry state of my life.