Japanese Poetry and Pretty Pink Chocolate Blondies

When Life looks like a random romp through Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights; and foggy feelings arise like mist on English moors, what do you do? I reach for poetry. Japanese haiku poets I find are the most poignant. There’s an acceptance that joy and grief are intertwined.

The Japanese cherry blossom is a pretty popular topic in poetry. (Sakura – the Japanese word for cherry blossom – is also more frequently seen than “love” in Japanese song lyrics.)  No wonder. As the cherry blossom blooms, there is an awareness that its demise is around the corner.

With the passing of my father, many questions have arisen. My ideas about Love are shifting. Gentleness with myself seems to work best. The 3 mighty masters of the Japanese haiku brigade - Basho, Buson and Issa – bring Light to my struggles.

Also, when my emotions look ugly, flowers, like birds remind me of the great beauty bestowed upon this earth by our Creator. As Issa writes, “Even an old man has New Year’s eyes / Cherry blossoms.” Even when past beliefs are dying, the sakura blossoms evoke the innocent hope and faith of children.

I live in LA-LA-Land. Obsession with fasts and fit bodies is pervasive. I’m doing my best to refrain from the pressure. I’m allowing myself treats. I’m not talking deep dives into pints of Häagen-Dazs. But I am saying yes to sweets, sleep, dance and single roses on my desk. They are reassuring gestures to the little one inside that I will be a benign caretaker. 

On the subject of sweets, Pretty Pink Chocolate Blondies are a great way to bring joy to fellow dancers.

How you do to take care of yourself when walking through great tempests? I welcome your tips.

Pink Chocolate Blondies


Pretty Pink Chocolate Blondies are a delightful dance of blondies, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate covered strawberries. Melted chocolate can be temperamental. However, employing dark chocolate candy melts made the task of icing the blondies easy.

This recipe is adapted from Wendy Sondov’s TheMondayBox.com. Wendy has great tips for sending blondies in the mail. 

  • 2 (4 oz) white chocolate baking bars (I used Ghirardelli)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jello powder
  • 1-tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup of mini chocolate chips
  • 1-cup dark chocolate candy melts (I used Wilton)
  • ½ cup pink candy melts (I used Wilton)
  1. Coat mini muffin pans with baking spray. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Break the white chocolate baking bars into chunks. Place in a microwave safe bowl with the butter. Melt the white chocolate and butter together at one-minute increments on medium power. Stir. Keep melting in the microwave at 10-second intervals until completely melted.
  3. In a kitchen stand mixer, beat the eggs for 3 minutes or until foamy and frothy.
  4. Slowly, pour in the sugar and jello powder and vanilla. When incorporated, stir in the melted chocolate butter mixture.
  5. Add the flour and salt. When combined well, sprinkle in the mini chocolate chips.
  6. With a mini (2 tablespoons) ice cream scoop the batter into the muffin tins.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Gently loosen with a frosting spatula from the pans. Do not let the blondies remain in the muffin tin. Prying out the hardened blondies will be more difficult.
  9. Once the blondies are completely cooled, melt the dark chocolate candy melts. I like using a double boiler. But the microwave works, too.
  10. Dip the blondies into the dark chocolate. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or more.
  11. Melt the pink candy melts in the microwave or using a double boiler. Drizzle the chocolate-coated blondies with the melted pink candy melts. Chopsticks and/or small forks are fantastic drizzling utensils. 

Wishing you beauty, poetry and peace.

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



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