Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Blondies - like Fruitcake, Only Better!

Here's Cookie # 2 for my holiday season:  The Christmas Blondie.  It's a holiday take on the standard Toll House Blondie bar, but "seasoned" up with candied cherries, a little nip of cherry brandy (or juice), and toasted walnuts.  This is not your Grandma's fruitcake recipe.  The picture, from the Better Homes and Gardens Web site, is so beautiful that it inspires me to make these bar cookies asap, and in mass quantities.  My friends, pretend you don't see this, because it's going to be a major player in this year's foodie gifts!  The Christmas Blondie is a new addition to my Christmas tradition, and perhaps to yours as well.

Christmas Blondies

Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 30 minutes


2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. cherry brandy or cherry juice (optional)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted*
3/4 cup chopped white or dark sweet chocolate
1/2 cup coarsely chopped candied cherries


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan.

2. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium speed 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until well-combined. Beat in eggs, brandy, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Add flour; beat just until blended. Stir in nuts, chocolate, and cherries. Spread in prepared pan.

3. Bake 30 minutes or until golden. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut in bars. Makes 24 bars.

4. *Spread nuts in shallow baking pan. Toast in 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes.
Photo and recipe credit, Better Homes and Gardenshttp://m.bhg.com/recipe/bars/christmas-blondies/

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