Sometimes you need to treat yourself to a blondie. These dump bar blondies were my mother’s favorite and I’m rather fond of them too.
As many of my friends know through Facebook, I’m going through a bit of back pain and vertigo. Okay, I didn’t share the vertigo thing because really, how much of a hypochondriac does anyone want to sound like?
The truth is, just walking across the floor caused shooting pains from my backside to my feet so I’ve been spending a bit of time with my friendly physiotherapist and doctor. A few things I’ve learned already are.
- Codeine is for hard core people, not for someone like me.
- Stretching muscles hurts
- Acupuncture hurts in the worst-affected areas
- A back plaster feels funny
- There is hope
So while I haven’t been able to cook (or do much of anything for a sustained period) for a week or so, I didn’t want you to feel that I don’t love you. I love writing and cooking and photographing but most of all I love the connection with every one of you. One of my favorite treats when I was a kid were blondies. I have been told they are very much last year but for me, they’ve been every year since I was about 7.
I thought I would share some beauties with you and then give you a recipe for my mother’s blondies that she always called dump bars. Why? She dumped everything in the bowl and mixed.
These butterscotch brownies remind me of my best friend’s mother, Mae. She had 10 ‘only children’ if that makes sense. She might have had ten of them but each one was spoiled and I have no idea how she did it. These blondies are from Jen at Jen’s Favorite Cookies and are simply called Butterscotch Blondies.
My Aunt Louise, my father’s oldest sister (he and his twin were the youngest of 12) used to make the most wonderful peanut butter blondies but I never got her recipe. Then I found Chelsea’s Peanut Butter Blondies on her blog at Gal on a Mission and they reminded me of long ago.
Have you met Jocelyn from Inside Bru Crew Life? She’s got one of the best food blogs and her food is often filled with fun. Last year when I had a friend coming for coffee with her granddaughter I made her M&M Blondies, normal blondies using M&Ms instead of chocolate chips. They were a real treat and the little one was so happy to take the rest of the batch home with her. Good thing because I would have eaten them.
Stephie from Stephie Cooks would have made my father’s day with these Maple Walnut Blondies. Maple walnut was his favorite ice cream and any sweet having those two would make him happy. My dad never weighed more than 128 pounds in his life but he could eat anything and often did. He never refused dessert. If these had been left over from dessert the night before, this is what he would have had for breakfast. WHY did I get his hair color and not his metabolism?? It ain’t fair.
Finally, my mother’s Dump Bars. I think she found this recipe from a recipe columnist in the Portland, Maine newspaper that my parents would get every Sunday. My recipe is handwritten and full of crap from MANY years of making this. I know I could copy it over but it’s nice to keep old favorites looking old. Rather like me, I suspect.
- 2 sticks (227 grams) butter
- 1 pound (453 grams) light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups plain/all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 160C/325F
- Dump the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and eggs in the top of a double boiler over slowly simmering water and stir to mix the eggs in. Leave over heat only until the butter is melted.
- Remove from the double boiler and dump in everything but the coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Beat well and then add in the coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Turn into a greased 8" x 12" x 2" pan and bake for 40 minutes. Cool in the pan and cut into bars.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I started the post and was only going to do a roundup of great looking blondies but the photos made me so hungry that I made my mother’s Dump Bar Blondies. I’m a sad case. It’s taken me ALL day to do this. I have two suggestions for you.
1. Never ignore nagging pain. It won’t go away and you might end up pinching a nerve so badly you won’t be able to get around.
2. Don’t get old. 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I was just thinking about you today so I’m so glad to see your post! Back pain is the worst and vertigo is no fun either… hope you will be pain free soon! I love blondies and these look scrumptious!
Ciao Florentina says
Major sugar craving right now ! I could totally eat one of each and not even feel guilty . I hope you feel better soon, meanwhile relax with a tray of these 😉
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts says
I read this and instantly wanted to come over and cook dinner for you.
It is awful when you are in pain and can’t do the things you love doing.
I hope the doctor and physio can sort it out for you xx
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts says
ps the blondies look great too!
I love the idea of using coconut in them 🙂
Forget the bars. I’m more worried about you. Emailing NOW
Hope you’re doing better! Vertigo is no fun for sure, nor is pain. Your blondies look like a cure-all though. I love those old recipes. Take care.
Bam's Kitchen says
Maureen, wishing you a recovery or at least back pain that you can manage. I have been thinking of you and hoping you were doing better and not happy to hear that recovery is not progressing at the speed you would like to see it go. It seems like when one back muscle is in a spasm all the muscles want to join the pain part- but truly they have not been invited. I wish we lived closer as I would have love to whip you up a batch of your mums delicious dump bar blondies as these might really help you keep you mind off the pain.
April @ Girl Gone Gourmet says
Feel better soon, Maureen!
Amy (Savory Moments) says
I hope you are feeling better soon, Maureen! If you were closer, I’d bring you some dinner or snacks or whatever. Your blondies look yummy, too. Take care!
Oh these look amazing! Never made blondies, but seeing these made me crave some. Plus, they’re loaded with all my favorite things – coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts. They’re on my must bake list now, thank you for sharing 🙂
Marilyn Lesniak says
Have been wondering where you have been lately! So sorry to hear about your pain but very happy you picked a collection of flavors I love. I have bedn trying to concentrte on small and easy baking. These blondies will be keeping me busy! Thx for a great collection.
Do appreciate the brownies Maureen. However, your health is more important- take some time out and We’ll be waiting when you are ready. You Deserve it!!!
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Hope you’re on the road to recovery! Back pain can be so aggravating. Is the vertigo related? Or do they think it’s something else? Anyway, loads of lovely blondies! But I like the Dump Bar Blondies the best. 😉
Kim | a little lunch says
Oh, Maureen, how I feel for you. Sounds like you’ve got sciatica big time — plus vertigo? Pain + dizzy does NOT equal FUN — or relaxation, which you SO deserve! I’m glad these blondies “of old” (tee hee) appeased your soul. (And thanks for the variations!) Thinking of you from afar… xo.
I’m sorry to hear about your back pain and vertigo. Cooking is no fun when you’re not feeling well.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a blondie … or a brownie very often, but they look delicious and sound like they’d be very easy to whip up.
GiGi Eats says
I LOVE ME SOME BLONDS!! yep! 😉
Hotly Spiced says
Hehe, I’m doing my best not to get old and that’s why I make time to see the Brazilian, Tiago. When he asked me what I wanted from him I said, ‘Your job is to turn back time’. I’m so sorry you’re still having trouble with the vertigo – I thought you were through that. Vertigo is the worst! But then there’s pain down your back from pinched nerves! Shocking. I do hope you are recovering although it sounds like it may be a slow progression back to normal? I hope you’re feeling more comfortable and that you can get some relief. I really admire you for being able to put this post together and make the blondies when you’re in so much pain xx
There’s a very good possibility that it’s all muscular from sitting in this chair. My life must change. I need Tiago!
I love hearing about people’s food stories and isn’t it wonderful how we celebrate with food! I do hope you feel better soon and are in the kitchen cooking up a storm soon!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Oh dear, Maureen… I’m glad you made some of your mother’s blondies, but I am worried that you are doing more than you should, love… do please rest and listen to your body xxx
I did! It said, “Looking at all these blondies and now I want one!” 🙂 It took me hours to finish so I didn’t overdo. I promise.
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
Now this is why I love you, Maureen. What a brilliant roundup of delicious, sweet treats. And I don’t care about that ‘last year’ crap as a really great indulgent snack never, ever dates – much like you, I suspect.
You were kind not to mention that after I did the round up, I had to bake some anyway. 🙂 That’s why I love you.
Barbara | Creative Culinary says
I hope when you make me laugh it doesn’t make YOU hurt…because you did tickle a funny bone. Growing old is no fun…damn body breaks down far before the brain! My pal Lana is now recuperating from back surgery; so hoping both of you see better days ahead!
I’ll take one of each of these please? Thank you very much. Wish I could make you a big dish of…well, anything!
The alternative to getting old is pretty sucky too so I’ll just have to exercise my way out of all this. 🙂
sherry from sherrys pickings says
sorry to hear you are not feeling chipper maureen. back pain is the worst. so debilitating isn’t it? wow these blondies look good – especially the peanut butter and maple walnut ones. yum! get better soon. I have menieres so i am dizzy and nauseous a lot of the time. you sort of get used to it!:)
You poor thing. I did find that the Epley Maneuver works a treat for my vertigo. I suffered with it for nearly 15 years ‘learning to get used to it’ when my doctor said I should at least give this a try. In a month I was better. I can still bring it on but now I know how to get rid of it.
My Kitchen Stories says
Oh Maureen that’s just terrible that you are still in pain. Please take great care. I did have to laugh that you had actually made blondies in the end, even though it was a round up. I was just thinking that I should be baking some myself, I cant look at baking and not do it!
I know. Thankfully I piled them all in a box and sent them to the oldies or I’d still be poking them down. 🙂
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
I’ve been worried about you, Maureen. And vertigo to boot! UGH. I hope the docs will be able to help you through this quickly…
On the blondies. Yum. And Wow! Honestly, I’d choose a blondie over a brownie any day (even though I love chocolate). Your mom’s recipe looks right up my alley!
Feel better, my friend! xo
Maureen: when the back nerves and contracting muscles settle the vertigo should also go. Most such ‘happenings’ ARE self-limiting usually to 6-12 weeks. So there IS hope! But you have to stretch those muscles and exercise and walk . . . being still is the worst thing for back pain. I do not suggest codeine forte but panadeine should help somewhat: my ‘go-to’ and I have a genetically bad back . . . just NO alcohol within 12 hours of using it or you’ll be fighting liver disease as well!! . . . best of British!!
I tossed the codeine out and making do with panadol. Not being still. I move every 10 minutes and do soft stretches. I’m going to lick this. 🙂
Joanne T Ferguson says
Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sorry to hear you are in such pain and your health problems persist Maureen! Sending positive vibes your way!
I have never had a blondie before, but based on your photo and recipe, I might have to put these on the list to try!
Veronica (Roni) says
ohhh, sad face for you Maureen.
The blondies look sensational. And we love you….
Rest, look after you. And then keep feeding us with your gorgeous pictures & words :)) xx
Lorraine @Not Quite Nigella says
I tend to eat a lot of brownies but not enough blondies. These do look fantastic Maureen and have me thinking that perhaps I should change that 🙂
Vanny @Nessy Eater says
I hope you get better soon Maureen. Back pain is such a pain the butt, I really wish it never exists! And btw what an interesting name for this recipe. I’m really keen to try these blondies 😀
Oh luv, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been hurting so much and feeling so wretched. XO It’s been a doozy of a week for me too. Blondies would’ve made my week so much better. 🙂 XO
Judy @Savoring Today says
Ugh, back pain is the worst! Drains every bit of energy you think you might have had before you can get out of a chair. :/ Sorry to hear you are dealing with it and sending prayers for a speedy recovery. The blondies all look wonderfully indulgent, which is just what I reach for when I’m not running at top speed.
BTW–I had an Aunt Louise too, my dad’s oldest sister, but I don’t know if she ever made blondies. 🙂
My Aunt Louise was definitely an aunt because in New England we didn’t say ant. 🙂
Dedy@Dentist Chef says
i wish i had this blondies in my brunch break at the hospital…..
with less sugar version for sure!
Carol Preibis says
So very sorry to hear that you are going through some tough times, and only hope that you will soon feel brand new!
Every one of these recipes looks great, but I think my faves might ne your mom’s Dump Bars and the Maple Walnut Blondies. I’m going to save to Pinterest!
Wishing you well,
Lea Ann Brown says
ohmygoodness, I suffer from bouts of vertigo, it’s awful and very frightening. Hope that goes away pronto! Now about these blondies …. yum! I’m such a brownie fan that I’ve never made a blondie.
Chris Scheuer says
Ha! We’re like two peas in a pod, I just made blondies today and we’re getting ready to photograph them! I’m so sorry you’ve had the back pain and vertigo. They both stink and it’s awful that you’ve been having them together. Praying that you’ll feel better SOON!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
I’ve never made blondies before and after seeing this post – they definitely have been added to my to make list!
Helen | Grab Your Fork says
Brownies are always a winner with crowds. I did a Nutella-swirled peanut butter brownie the other day but will have to bookmark these for future reference!
I’m so happy you get well ! I’m agree with you ” never get old” but it’s a difficult thing !
I’m in love with your mum’s recipe, looks perfect for my coffee time 🙂
I’d like a dump-truck load of these delivered to me personally. Blondies are my FAVORITE. Brownies will always dull in comparison in my heart.
Mary Frances says
Maureen, so sorry to hear about the pain you’ve been going through recently. Please feel much better soon! The blondies look incredible! 🙂
Ah I hope you feel better! My doctor gave me Tylenol with codeine once and I took one dose and literally had to get off my train to work and sit on a bench! Then at work, I couldn’t answer the most basic questions from people. Never again!
I’m a huuuuge blondie lover and especially love all the good stuff added to these!!
Imagine no Tylenol and all codeine. I couldn’t move my hands. never again 🙂
Karen & Mac McLean says
Sorry your suffering from that dreaded problem of “not a spring chicken” 🙁 Karen’s feet will not let her stand in one spot for more than a few minutes and my knees are not happy, BUT the blondie bars are Great!!! They Really go well with espresso on the patio watching the sun come up!! Hang in there kid and keep up with the great food.
Well, the net gremlins might be working overtime! I know I left a comment, or tried to on the very day you published this article, and now I cannot see it… have I been too naughty?
at any rate, coming back here made me read all the other comments and I was intrigued by Tiago, the Brazilian – maybe you should go see him and tell him he better do a great job or you will put Sally the Brazilian to fight with him…. 😉
seriously, though – I just hope you are feeling better by now. Pain and vertigo, simply no bueno, my friend… no bueno! (and that is Spanish of course, but sounds so cute and better than in any language, I suppose)
I hope you are better now.. it is hard when back muscles hurt, makes one feel so nervous and moving becomes harder and harder. Take care of your health my dear.
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts says
Posted this message on the wrong post! Doh! I’m blaming the time of night!
I wanted to stop by and see if you were feeling any better.
Hope you are getting some rest x
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Oh Maureen – so sorry to hear you are not doing well! Back issues are the worst! I don’t believe you made blondies and did a roundup of blondies while you are in pain – you are such a trooper! Sending you hugs and praying that you will be feeling better soon.
Is there anything a blondie can’t cure though?
Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living says
An old neighbor used to make the best blondies – I love the coconut in yours 🙂
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
So sorry to hear you’re under the weather Maureen. Hope you feel better very, very soon! These blondies are gorgeous and they would make me feel better for you!
Amber Ashford says
Oh my goodness, this is so perfect! I going to crave it until I make it. On menu for next week
Oh Maureen, what a bummer. You poor thing. Believe me, I know what this is. Have a herniated disc that will never go and each time I think I’m back on the mend, the old back decides to remind the body who’s boss. It’s a real bummer. I totally agree that you have to be so careful sitting for lengths at a time in front of the computer. Do you do yoga? That has helped enormously but truth be told had to cancel this week since it’s playing up again.
I totally admire you still baking the most scrumptious goodies out of your kitchen while you’re going through all of this. Take care of yourself!
Glamorous Glutton says
It’s really hard to have a constant pain but also dizziness must make you very tired and low. Great bloodied rounup and your mums recipe sounds delicious. GG
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Oh no…. You are still feeling poorly. Sorry to hear Maureen. Sending you truck loads of healing vibes.
The pain doesn’t seem to be affecting your baking, holy yum your blondies look amazing.
Bummer on the vertigo and back pain! I’ve had the vertigo before and what a weird sensation. Hopefully it keeps you distracted from the back pain. Take it easy Maureen! Love this collection of blondies. I never had them as a kid, but I’ve tried a few as an adult and love the PB ones. YUM!
Tara Noland says
I didn’t know you were having back issues. I know your pain all too well with having a pinched nerve were all I could do was lie! Codiene, Percocet, Tylenol, heat were all my friends. Hope you are feeling better very soon. As for these dump bars they are brilliant! Love an easy recipe like, I will have to try them next time we are up for church refreshments.
Mine is all muscular pain from sitting in this chair for years on end. It will take a while to fix but I should be completely fine. I admire you for being able to take codeine. 🙂
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
Oh Maureen I am so sorry to hear you are not well, I hope this pain goes away soon but on the up side what a great collection of blondies 😀 I really don’t make them very often but I should make them more as I really do love them.
I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with your back. UGH! back pain is awful. Believe me. I can unfortunately relate! I hope you’re able to get relief soon!
I’m definitely making these bars soon! Thanks for taking the time to share even though you’re not feeling the best.
These look awesome. A great way to use up pantry leftovers too!
Beverley Press says
Maureen I do hope you are feeling better and your back it behaving itself…I have never made blondies till I came across your recipe!! Now I’m hooked, thank you thank you xoxo
Abigail Murdock says
These dump bar blondies would suit the taste of those who have a sweet toot, thanks for sharing