Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cranberry Blondies

After watching a blondie throwdown (no Ed, it's not what you think) on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, I've developed a hankering for buttery, brown-sugary blondies. The only thing I sometimes don't like about them is that they're very sweet and can often be doughy. I like these because the cranberry adds a nice tang and the almonds give a good texture. The almond is backed up with a shot of almond extract, which I love.

Cranberry Almond White Chocolate Blondies
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temp.
1 2/3 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temp.
1 t. vanilla
a few drops of almond extract
1 cup sliced almonds, (3 ounces), toasted
3/4 c. cup dried cranberries (soak in a few T. hot water if needed to plump up; could also use fresh cranberries, sliced)
1 c. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer; cream on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Reserving some of each to sprinkle on top, stir in almonds, cranberries, and white chocolate chips into the batter.
Pour into prepared pan; spread with a rubber spatula. Scatter remaining nuts, cranberries and white chocolate over batter in pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into blondies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 30-40 minutes (don't overbake!). Dust with confectioners’ sugar before cutting into squares.

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