When you have a big family like mine, it is easy to feel like you are ALWAYS celebrating birthdays! Because you kind of ARE..... Between both sets of parents, siblings, spouses, and all our kids, there are only 3 months out of the year when we AREN'T celebrating a family birthday! For the longest time, we used to buy gifts for everyone.....well, we stopped doing that a while ago with Jorden's family, and this year my family finally wised up, too! As my sister said, "At some point, when you are buying someone their 18th workout outfit, it's time to just be done." And so we are!
I have to admit....being done with the birthday exchange doesn't feel quite right to me. And not because I will miss getting the gifts, but because I will miss giving them! Don't get me wrong - there was definitely something stressful about choosing the right gift for each person (and I'm sure half the time we didn't choose the right gift anyway!) But I liked the fact that, for one day out of the year, we had to think about one another. We had to say (or write) nice things about one another. We had to really celebrate one another!
This new "no gift" system will take some getting used to....and, truthfully, I am looking for little ways to get around it. Like sticking a card in the mail. Like sneaking my own little presents to them on the side. Or like making them a special birthday treat! First on the list? These Birthday Cake Oreo Blondies. Blondies, cheesecake, Birthday Cake Oreos. Amazingly delicious. Quite possibly the best birthday gift yet!
Birthday Cake Oreo Blondies
2 c. packed brown sugar
⅔ c. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
3 ½ c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
20 Birthday Cake Golden Oreos, crushed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan; set aside.
2. Heat brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves; stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
3. Stir in eggs and vanilla.
4. Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda and stir to combine.
5. Spread batter in prepared baking pan.
6. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
7. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over blondie mixture.
8. Top with crushed Oreos.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until edges and top are golden brown.
(*Blondie recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Topping recipe adapted from The Great American Cookie Cookbook.)
Thanks for taking a peek inside my Lemon Tree Dwelling...
I hope you feel right at home!