Holy crap it's December already! I know, I know... it's such a cliché for the holiday season to 'sneak' up on us. But the unseasonably warm weather has me all confused. It's hard to imagine Christmas is right around the corner when my hat and gloves are comfortably stashed away.
So, in kind, I am going to ease us in to the holiday baking routine with a treat that nods towards the holidays, without getting too up in your face with a heady punch of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
(Don't worry, that will come soon enough.)
These blondies are ooey-gooey and super sweet, but with a nice tart pop of fresh cranberries for balance. Cut them into teensy tiny squares, and let people choose whether they prefer a slightly crunchy edge piece (my personal fave), or a custardy middle piece. Or both!
White Chocolate & Cranberry Blondies
(adapted from apotheosis of blondie recipes, courtesy of Cook's Illustrated)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped white chocolate
1 cup fresh cranberries (from frozen is fine, but not dried)
Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, and whisk until well-incorporated, and mixture is no longer grainy. Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix until almost combined, but with flour streaks remaining. Add white chocolate and cranberries, and mix until they are well-distributed.
Transfer batter to a parchment-lined 8"x8" pan -- batter will be very thick, so use a spatula or a spoon to make sure it gets in all the corners, and that the top is as even and smooth as it is likely to get.
Bake 35-40 minutes, until edges are browning and middle is just set. The higher moisture content due to the fresh cranberries means these blondies need to bake for quite a bit longer than standard blondies. Cool entirely, eat one, and give the rest to your coworkers.