“I’m always looking for insights into the real Doris Day because I’m stuck with this infatuation and need to explain it to myself.” -American writer and Doris Day mega-fan, John Updike
Any Doris Day fan can relate to the infatuation that John Updike conveys. As Updike’s words suggest, despite the carefree, sunny exterior she often projected on screen, Doris Day was not the average girl next door.
Underneath that bright, glossy image was a complex woman of incredible character, talent, confidence, and strength.
It’s the sort of enigma that makes a superstar. And Doris Day was a superstar.
The Biggest Female Box Office Star of ALL Time
Doris Day is arguably the biggest female box office star of all time. For nearly half the length of her Hollywood career, Doris ranked among the top ten money making stars at the US box office. For ten years, Doris held her own on this male dominated list. And four of those years, Doris earned the number one position, beating out such box office giants as John Wayne, Paul Newman, Cary Grant, and Rock Hudson for the distinction. It’s a record no other female star has topped, and only Shirley Temple has matched.
Even more impressive, simultaneous to her top box office rankings, Doris Day was one of the best selling female recording artists, with 76 billboard charting singles to her name.
Doris’ girl next door aura contributed in no small part to her monumental success in Hollywood. But her talent and depth of character, often overlooked, are what kept audiences enraptured with her year after year.
Yet there’s another reason why Doris Day topped the charts for so long, and why, over 50 years since her last film, the Doris Day fan base continues to grow.
The Reluctant Star
As a young singer on the brink of a movie superstardom she never sought, Doris Day auditioned, at the badgering of her agent, for the lead role in a prestigious Warner Bros. musical. She’d never acted on film before, had zero training, and was completely depressed over the recent break-up of her second marriage.
Doris didn’t even try to hide the tears of her personal life from director Michael Curtiz as she attempted to sing ‘Embraceable You.’ Positive that she was failing miserably, Doris apologized for her acting inexperience and for using Curtiz’s valuable time, as she prepared to leave.
But despite the tears and her inability to get more than halfway through the song, Michael Curtiz was mesmerized by the young woman before him. Doris Day had something the other hundred or so actresses he’d already tested didn’t have. In his thick Hungarian accent, Curtiz all but told Doris the role was hers:
“I sometimes like a girl who is not an actress. It’s less pretend and more heart.”
“It’s less pretend and more heart.” The phrase describes Doris Day’s style perfectly.
Doris Day is all heart. Whether playing absolutely any character or genre on screen, or putting across a ballad with an intimacy unequaled by any other artist, we feel that Doris is one hundred percent invested, heart, body, and soul, in the performance at hand. And we are forever drawn to her because of it.
Doris Day White Chocolate Blondies
As we near the three-year mark of her passing, Doris Day and all her facets—the sunshine, the talents, her spirituality, love of animals, and almost herculean determination to be happy no matter what life threw her way—deserve analysis and celebration. And, perhaps above all, greater appreciation.
My Favorite Blondies: White Chocolate Blondies
These are my favorite blondies ever. And it all comes down to texture.
The white chocolate base of these blondies is prepared the same way as the base of traditional brownies: by melting the (in this case white) chocolate and butter together. The resulting blondies have a vanilla flavor with a hint of white chocolate, and that brownie texture most of us find so addicting.
Stud these white chocolate blondies with chocolate chips, and, if you’re at all like me, you’ll be glad the gorgeous ramekins these bake in will (hopefully) keep you from overindulging.
Make These White Chocolate Blondies!
No matter your degree of Doris Day fandom, these White Chocolate Blondies are an elegant showstopper, worthy of the classy woman who inspired them.
Any six ounce ramekins will work for these white chocolate blondies, but here are my favorite six ounce ramekins on Amazon [aff. link]. The color pallet of these ramekins is absolutely stunning. Choose the baby yellow if you’d like to serve a dessert that is distinctly Doris.
Doris Day White Chocolate Blondies
For the wet ingredients:
- ½ cup butter
- 4 oz white chocolate chips
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
For the dry ingredients:
- ½ cup + 2 Tbsps flour
- ¼ tsp salt
For the chocolate chips:
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp flour
Prepare the butter and white chocolate
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter and the white chocolate chips over medium heat. Stir with a spatula or a whisk to incorporate the butter and chocolate into one, smooth mixture.
- Once the butter and white chocolate chips have melted and incorporated, take the saucepan off the heat. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
- The white chocolate and butter may separate as the mixture cools, and that's ok. Just whisk them back together.
Prepare the chocolate chips
- While the butter/white chocolate mixture cools, prepare the chocolate chips.
- Add the chocolate chips and 1 Tbsp flour to a small mixing bowl. With a spoon or your hands, mix them together until the flour coats the chocolate chips. This will help keep the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the blondies during baking.
- Set the chocolate chips aside for now.
Add the vanilla extract, sugar, and eggs
- Now add the vanilla extract to the saucepan with the butter/white chocolate mixture, and whisk to combine.
- Next add the eggs. Whisk until the eggs are fully incorporated. The mixture will be thick and very smooth.
- Now add the sugar and brown sugar. Whisk until combined.
Add the flour, salt, and chocolate chips
- Add the flour and salt to the saucepan, and whisk until just combined.
- Now gently fold in the chocolate chips
Pour the batter into the ramekins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Oil eight, six ounce ramekins very well. To make the ramekins easy to put in and take out of the oven, place them on a baking sheet. (That way you just have to slide the baking sheet in and out of the oven.)
- Evenly distribute the blondie batter among the ramekins. Each ramekin will fill almost to the top with batter.
Bake the blondies
- Bake the blondies at 350 degrees for 36-38 minutes. The tops of the blondies will be golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out mostly clean.
Serve and enjoy!
- Serve these white chocolate blondies alone, or with fresh whipped cream.