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When I was a little girl, I looked forward to every single holiday. I grew up in Florida and my grandparents lived 12 hours away in Virginia Beach. The holidays was really the only time I saw them. It was mostly Christmas and Thanksgiving, but my grandparents were determined to make every holiday special for us and let us know they loved us no matter how far they were. My grandmother sent cards every Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. We could count on a card with some candy every year.
This year, I laughed at how similar life is for my children growing up in Atlanta. They live miles and miles from their grandparents too. I thought about how happy those cards made me and how now thirty years later they are still special to me. I thought it would be nice for the kids to send a little package to their grandparents. We picked up a few supplies from Walmart in the special Valentine’s Day/Seasonal aisle. The kids said their grandpa loves Red Velvet cake so we thought M&M’s® Red Velvet candies would be a winner in our recipe. Their grandmother loves coconut cake so our idea was to combine the two into a “blondie.”
The kids wrote out something special they wanted to say and a little Valentine’s message to let them know we were thinking of them. Here’s our blondie recipe:
Coconut Blondies with M&M’s® Red Velvet
1 stick plus 2 Tbps. Unsalted Butter, softened
1 1/2c. Light Brown Sugar
1tsp. Coconut Extract
1Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
2c. All purpose flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2c. Chopped Walnuts
1/2c. Shredded Coconut
1/2c. M&Ms Red Velvet
Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs and extracts until mixed well. In a separate bowl combine baking soda, baking powder, flour and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little at a time until just combined. Then fold in coconut, walnuts, and candy. Spoon batter into a prepared pan. (I used a baking spray and a sheet of parchment paper so it will easily lift out of the pan after baking.) Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting and serving. Enjoy!