I can’t believe we are here today.
What began as a simple way to share my recipes with friends and family has turned into this full blown career and actual grown-up business. (WHAT in the world!)
It was 5 years ago yesterday and peanut butter blondies were on my kitchen counter. I made them to bring into work and thought they’d be a great recipe to put on my new hobby blog called Sally’s Baking Addiction. But, like the nervous anxious person I am, I had a few reservations before I pressed that publish button for the first time.
- Is blogging nerdy?
- Omg should I even tell my friends about this?
- I bet my mom will be the only one who reads this. (She was.)
- I’ll just take a picture of the blondies on my iPhone.
- There’s a new thing called “Pinterest” and maybe I can put my blog on there?
It’s overwhelming that one tiny decision can alter the direction of life forever. But I think that’s what makes life so thrilling. It’s made up of all these “little” decisions every day and you don’t even know it at the time, but just *one* can be the start of something completely life-changing.
This rainbow whisk tho.
In the spirit of 5, here are 5 things I’ve learned about blogging in the past 5 years.
5 Things I’ve Learned
1) Don’t compare your start to someone else’s middle. The comparison trap is loud and it is real. But look where I was 5 years ago with my peanut butter blondies (omg that picture, I can’t). Blogging is a journey and you’ll always be learning. It’s practically suicide to compare your blog to someone else’s. You are on two completely different paths and you are two completely different people.
2) Not having an “off” switch is the hardest part. The internet, it doesn’t turn off. And the work on a content-based website, it never ends. You have to learn to give yourself breaks.
3) It’s ok to give up some control. Hiring assistants and giving them a piece of “my baby” has been the hardest, albeit most rewarding emotional and mental experience of this career. I strongly encourage bloggers who constantly feel like they are fighting a demanding uphill battle to considering the hiring process. Turns out, there are a lot of food and internet lovers out there willing to help! If you’re generally burnt out, your work will suffer. And readers can tell! Hiring help has revived my passion and now I am consistently in touch with why I started my blog in the first place: because I love baking.
4) This is a ride, not a destination. The internet is fast-paced, but blogging is a slow and educational journey. It doesn’t happen overnight.
5) Do it for the right reasons. And that reason shouldn’t be money. If blogging is your full-time gig, it’s certainly imperative to have a strong and consistent income to support yourself and supply for your family. But that shouldn’t be the reason WHY you blog. You should blog because you are passionate about it.
(More blogging posts right this way!)
But can I real quick tell you about these peanut butter blondies? I took them to a party on Saturday night and one guy said (and this is a direct quote) “these are like soft peanut butter pillows.” I changed my original recipe to fit into a 9×13 pan. The result is a dense and completely soft peanut butter blondie bar with lots of brown sugar and peanut butter flavor. I strongly encourage the use of Reese’s Pieces as this only takes your peanut butter experience to the next level. We’ll use melted butter for a little more dense chew (as opposed to creaming butter which creates a fluffier bar) and an extra egg yolk for richer flavor. And this is a one bowl recipe!!
Besides that, it’s just a plate of delicious peanut butter pillows.
Anyway, I don’t even know where to end besides, I don’t know, that first sentence up there. ↑ I just can’t believe we are here today talking about baking, learning and growing together, inspiring each other and participating in what I can only refer to as a BAKING PARADE. You’re all the best.
Peanut Butter Blondies
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled for 3 minutes
- 2 cups (400g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (194g) creamy peanut butter
- 2 large eggs + 1 extra egg yolk
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (yes Tablespoon!)
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/4 cups Reese's Pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9x13 inch pan or line with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished blondies out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until combined. Whisk in the peanut butter, then add the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Whisk it all until completely combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold the batter together using a rubber spatula. Batter is very thick. Finally, fold in the Reese's Pieces. Spread evenly into prepared pan and sprinkle with a couple additional Reese's Pieces on top for looks, if desired.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then test the blondies with a toothpick. Insert it into the center of the pan. If it comes out with wet batter, the blondies are not done. If there are only a few moist crumbs, the blondies are done. Keep checking every 2 minutes until you have moist crumbs. My blondies take 30 minutes. They taste a little dry if you overbake!
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.
- Cover and store leftover blondies at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: Brownies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature before serving.
Did you make a recipe?
Tag @sallysbakeblog on Instagram and hashtag it #sallysbakingaddiction.
This peanut butter skillet cookie!! Have you tried?
Thank you for a life-changing 5 years and many more to come! xo