Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Blondies

My lovely, sweet and beautiful niece Elyse turns 13 today (blink.blink.). It's insane to think about the time that has passed but I'm so excited to see her take on life as an awesome teenager. Not sure what to make her for birthday baking, I decided 13 warrants a bit of sophistication. Instead of candy or chocolate overloaded sweets, I went for a classy combination of white chocolate and dried cranberries in a moderately sweet blondie with a crunchy edge and a slightly chewy center. This version is delicious and celebratory in a subtle way. Plus, in a pinch, you can toss a scoop of ice cream and maybe some caramel sauce on top and make a lovely blondie sundae.

This is a simple variation on the swirled blondie recipe I made from Food Network Magazine's 50 Brownies booklet from March 2012. Leaving out the chocolate syrup, I loaded the batter with white chocolate chips and cranberries before baking to a perfect finish. Dave and I split the leftovers evenly--he loved the perfect crunch on the edge pieces and I devoured the soft and chewy interiors. I did use the touch of whiskey the recipe called for because I like how it plays with the brown sugar to create depth in the caramel flavor. But the alcohol bakes out, which is why I was fine sharing these with my niece. Swap out the mix-ins to your hearts content--maybe chopped dried apricots instead? Or butterscotch chips and nuts? This is my favorite go to blondie that's perfect to dress up in any flavor you like.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Blondies


1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons bourbon or whiskey (optional but recommended)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar. Then whisk in eggs, one at a time, whiskey, if using, and vanilla until smooth.

Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until fully incorporated, but take care not to over mix.

Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chip to distribute throughout.

Transfer batter to a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan and smooth to an even layer.

Baker at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes or until the top is set, edges are slightly crisped and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely in pan on wire rack before cutting into bars.

Makes 24 bars.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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