Are you doing any holiday baking today?
I can't believe that Christmas is one week away. Where did all the time go this year? Each year I make a tray of various holiday goodies for MGG and all his staff (about 100) and another for my staff at work. It's something I look forward to each year because it reminds me of the excitement I used to get making our holiday cookies with my mom, and getting a tray of our neighbor's goodies as well.
Each year I try and mix it up with the type of goodies. There is always fudge, and the rest is up for grabs. This year since time kind of got away from me I decided to make things a little easier and make some bulk items that you can bake in 9x13 pans. That way I'll get a large quantity of a scrumptious goodies with little effort. Sound good? That's a big "YES!" from me!
Being the avid cookbook collector that I am I recently purchased the cutest little book called, tiny book of Christmas Joy, by Phillis Hoffman Depiano. This book is full of holiday goodies and gifts to give. I was so excited when I got it I flagged a ton of recipes that I wanted to make! As that wasn't realistic I narrowed it down to this great recipe for Cranberry Walnut Blondies.
I don't typically make blondies but with the addition of cranberries and walnuts I knew this would make a great festive addition. Boy was I right! You guys, these are the BEST blondies I've ever had. The flavor is outstanding. I had a hard time getting this in the gift containers because I had a sample, and then another, and then another! Wow! These just blew my socks off, so watch out...and prepare to have your socks blown off too!
CRANBERRY WALNUT BLONDIES
What I did differently: I followed the recipe almost exactly except I didn't use sweetened cranberries as stated, but unsweetened cranberries I got from Trader Joe's. The recipe also calls for using a stand mixer. I chose to make these by hand in a large bowl instead. They came out perfectly, so I wrote the directions that way, but you could use your mixer if you prefer.
Made in a 9x13 pan, these make a ton. I decided to just cut them in traditional brownie squares, but you could make them appear really elegant by cutting them in triangles and placing them on a white platter.
I hope you make these really soon. They are perfect to give away to friends and family, and make sure to hide a couple for yourself. They go that quick!
Cranberry Walnut Blondies
slightly adapted from: tiny book of Christmas Joy
makes 32 pieces
1 c unsalted butter, melted
1 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c dried cranberries
1/2 c chopped toasted walnuts
1 Tbls orange zest
Garnish: 1/2 c confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray with flour.
In a large bowl mix butter, brown sugar, and sugar until mixed and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add vanilla and stir to incorporate.
Add in salt, and baking soda. Add in flour gradually, mixing after each addition. Stir in cranberries, walnuts, and orange zest. Place batter in prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the blondies comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares and garnish with confectioners sugar if desired.