Man Night: hot coals for grill, chicken wings for sustenance, beers for drink, backgammon for blood, campfire for spirit and sweets for support. I fully back the man-evening. I love that my husband has great friends with whom he loves to cook, talk, play ‘gammon, watch sport and burn stuff.
Men are so different from us. They see, experience and manage life so uniquely from women. They can insult your new white pants in one sentence and roll onto the NHL draft in the next, no harm no foul. I love the men I know for all this statement implies: they are candid, honest, direct, quick to move on, and clever. If this were women, there would be no roll, what there would be is: harm and foul and tears. So men, need man nights, to be carefree, to eat chicken wings, to throw the bones into a bush not the garbage, to roll on. And then, come home, smelling like campfire and relaxation, to us girls; and while, we may dwell and cry (occasionally) and lack manly candor, we certainly do make life sweeter.
So, on the sweet note, I was involved in man-night in two very small ways… 1) to drop off my man and 2) to provide the sweets. The only direction I was given was “something you can eat with your hands from a Tupperware container.” For quick and simple tasty low-fat versions of the classics, I head for One Smart Cookie. Julie did not let me down, I found this gem, adapted it ever so slightly and whipped up these man-approved Tupperware-friendly blondies.
My mantra for these goes like: because these are for the boys, I can add a bunch more chocolate chips.
All that remained in the Tupperware was crumbs…
Coffee & Chocolate Squares
1/4 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp instant espresso granules
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
generous pinch of salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (plus a handful extra to sprinkle on top if you are so inclined)
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a square 8×8 pan with non-stick spray.
Combine the butter, sugar and espresso in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring, until smooth. Remove from heat and place in a medium bowl. Give it 3-4 minutes to cool a little, stirring occasionally. Add egg, egg white and vanilla, stir until smooth. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir to combine. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the wet ingredients and stir by hand until it comes together. Add the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Stir until it just comes together. Pour into the prepared pan. If you are feeling a little indulgent, sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack, cut into squares, place in a Tupperware and hand them over to be man-handled (devoured).