Sunday, July 31, 2011

M&M Samoa Blondies

Let's go back in time 12 or so years, shall we?

The Time: New Year's Eve, 1999.

The Setting: My family's house, for the annual family-friendly NYE extravaganza.

The Players: Me, Katie, 16 years old; and our good friend Kirsten, 14 years old.

K&K circa 1994, five years before the millenium
The Backstory: Kirsten and I love M&Ms. It's our thing.

The Proposal:

"Hey, Kirst! You know how M&Ms are the official candy of the millenium because of how two Ms equals '2,000' in roman numerals?"


"Well, what if, to celebrate the new millenium, you and I ate 2,000 M&Ms before morning?!"

(I pause here, readers, to let the magnitude of that proposal sink in. But only for a moment, because I don't remember Kirst hesitating much before she said...)


And then I said, "yeah" like she did, but with a question mark after it. Because really, readers, you'd have to be a little crazy to try to eat 2,000 M&Ms and I wasn't sure it was really such a good idea.

But Kirst was as crazy as I was, or at least as crazy about M&Ms as I was, and that, combined with all the caffeine we'd already consumed, was impairing both our judgements.

We furiously gathered all the M&Ms in the house and started counting.

"1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10!" Crunch.

"11 12 13 14 15 16!" Chomp.

Toss, catch, crunch, "17!"

Toss, catch, chomp, "18!"

Pop. "19!"

Pop. "20!"

And it went on like that for a few hours. As other party goers caught on to what we were doing, some cheered us on, and some told us we were downright stupid.

Around 2am, it turned out the latter group was right, and things got a little ugly.  Because dear readers, no matter how much a person loves candy coated chocolate that melts in your mouth and not in your hand, nobody can eat 2,000 M&Ms in one night.

Kirst and I called it quits at 900-something M&Ms between the two of us and rang in the new millenium with upset bellies and really bad sugar headaches.

But even as early as New Year's Day, we knew our crazy plan had been completely worth it, for we had made a commitment to something we loved and for better or for worse, we came out of it better friends and with a fabulous story to tell.

A few weeks ago, Becky and I witnessed Kirsten commit to something she loves even more than M&Ms (at least I'm pretty sure)--her fiance, Zach. 

I considered attempting to eat 2,000 M&Ms again to celebrate K&Z's special day, but thought my inevitable rainbow-colored vomit might distract from the celebration, so Becky and I chose to make these M&M Samoa Blondies instead. They were really easy to throw together, looked festive on a picnic table, and were well received by weary travelers. Kirsten's matron of honor even tells me they made a great breakfast the morning of the wedding :-)

Kirsten and Zach - It's clear you are already the best of friends and have many wonderful stories to tell. When people say you're crazy for committing to something as daunting as loving one person with all your heart for the rest of your lives, may you remember New Year's Eve 1999 and that sometimes, for better or for worse, the craziest and most impossible ideas are the best ones of all.

With Love,

M&M Samoa Blondies
Adapted from

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 (12 oz.) bag mini M&Ms (with a few reserved for the top)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray. 
  2. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it browns and begins to smell nutty (watch it closely so it doesn’t burn). Allow the butter to cool slightly.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the browned butter and sugars.
  4. Stir in eggs, vanilla and salt.
  5. Add the flour and stir just until combined.
  6. Add the coconut and M&Ms and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula or wet fingers. Sprinkle a few additional M&Ms on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let the blondies cool completely before turning them out onto a cutting board and slicing into squares.


  1. Hi, we made these and they are great! Dumb question, is there supposed to be baking powder or soda in the recipe? They came out kinda gooey. Thanks!

  2. AKunicycler - The source recipe we used didn't have baking soda or baking powder in it and our blondies were pretty gooey too - but we like them that way! If you wanted to add a leavener, I'm sure you could add a teaspoon baking powder. Glad you liked them!

  3. wow these look soooooooooooooooooooooooo good