Many years ago, during a conversation with my uncle, he gave me a huge compliment. He said that I was just like my mother. Though there are moments when I look in the mirror or behave oddly and observe with dismay that I am turning into my mother, my mom has been a wonderful role model as I navigate life and the challenges of motherhood. She is a nonjudgmental listener and unfailingly supports her children and grandchildren. No matter what craziness I share, she has my back. I am very lucky. I hope I provide the same unconditional love and support to my kids.
I am very excited that my mom will be in St Louis with us for Mother’s Day this year. She is really visiting for my daughter’s birthday on May 9th, but I plan to squeeze in as much celebrating as possible while she is here. Living 800 miles and numerous states apart, we don’t get to spend nearly enough time together. Even if we don’t do much more than cook a bit and shop a bit, it will be good to do it together.
As a mom, time spent with my kids is precious, especially now that they are grown. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for deployed military moms and their children. Every day thousands of military moms sacrifice time with their families in order to do their jobs and serve their country. Holidays spent apart must be particularly difficult.
Mother’s Day is a day set aside to celebrate and honor the mom(s) in our lives. It can also be an opportunity to honor and thank military mothers, those who serve in the armed forces and those whose children are service members. Their strength of spirit deserves acknowledgement.
I baked these Chocolate Strawberry Blondie Bites with Mother’s Day in mind. Sprinkled with confectioners sugar or topped with chocolate, chewy strawberry blondies studded with chocolate chips are packed with chocolate covered strawberry flavor. They are like chocolate covered strawberries you can mail. Desert safe recipe adaptations make Chocolate Strawberry Blondie Bites an excellent military care package surprise. Whether your mom is nearby or far away, these sweet morsels are sure to make her day special!
A few baking notes: The blondie bites bake well and have good taste and texture with either butter or Crisco. If you are sending the blondie bites in extreme desert temperatures, Crisco is recommended for avoiding spoilage. Otherwise, I prefer using butter for creamy flavor and longer lasting chewiness. For the chocolate topping, I used Chocoley.com Molding Formula. It spread smoothly and the slightly thicker formula gave me the slightly thicker chocolate topping I was going for. Chocoley.com Drizzle and Design’s thinner formula easily drizzled in thin lines and squiggles. For hot weather care packages, powdered sugar topping is recommended instead.
Chocolate Strawberry Blondie Bites
Adapted from Ghirardelli
Makes 36 blondie bites
8 ounces (2 baking bars) white chocolate, broken into chunks
½ cup unsalted butter or vegetable shortening***
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons strawberry jello powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Topping ingredients: ***
1 cup melting chocolate (Chocoley.com Extra Dark Candy and Molding Formula)
½ cup white chocolate (Chocoley.com Drizzle and Design White Chocolate)
1 drop pink or red food coloring gel
¼ cup confectioners sugar
***Desert safe adaptations: For desert safe baking use vegetable shortening and dust blondie bites with powdered sugar instead of using chocolate decorative topping.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter or spray cooking oil into 3 mini muffin pans.
Place white chocolate and butter/shortening in medium sized microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave 1 minute at medium power. Stir. If not completely melted, return to microwave for 10 second intervals, stirring between heating, until completely melted and combined.
- In bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs until foamy (about 3 minutes).
- Mix in sugar, jello powder, vanilla, and melted chocolate.
- Add flour and salt and stir until incorporated.
- Stir in mini chocolate chips.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter for each mini muffin into prepared pans.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If mailing internationally, undercook by about 1 minute. (The extra moisture from undercooking will help keep the blondies soft while shipping.)
- Cool for 5 minutes in pan. Loosen the edges of the blondie bites with the tip of a knife if necessary, then remove from pan to complete cooling on a wire rack. If the blondies don’t hold together allow another few minutes of cooling. Do not let the blondies cool completely in the pan or they will stick.
- Once the blondie bites have cooled completely they can be sprinkled with powdered sugar or decorated with melted chocolate. To decorate with chocolate, melt the dark chocolate and, using a knife or spoon, spread onto each blondie bite. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes until set and firm. Melt the white chocolate Drizzle and Design in the microwave at medium power for 30 seconds. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Add one drop of food coloring gel and mix until the chocolate is uniformly pink. The pink chocolate can be drizzled onto the brownie bites with a spoon or from a plastic bag with a tiny bit of a bottom corner cut off. Refrigerate 5-10 minutes again to set the chocolate drizzle.
- Blondies bites can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container between layers of wax paper for 2 weeks.
Packing tips: Do not decorate blondie bites with chocolate topping if mailing during warm weather. Wrap pairs of blondie bites in a stack, in foil, then double wrap in plastic wrap before storing in an airtight container or zip lock bag. If mailing chocolate coated blondie bites in cool temperatures, wrap pairs of blondie bites in waxed paper before following the above packing directions.