The trials and tribulations of a scatter-brained kitchen junkie.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 3 (Baking) - White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

Week 3's baking theme was white chocolate. I knew right away I was going to do something with cranberries because I love the combination of these two. I've done white chocolate cranberry cookies in the past, so I was looking for something fresh and new when I stumbled across this recipe from Taste of Home; it sounded simply too scrumptious to pass up.

I've attempted blondies on only one other occasion and the results were less than stellar. However, unlike  my previous attempts, this was easy-peasey and I was more than pleas(ey)ed with the results. These bars are easy to keep out of sight, but it's a futile effort to put them out of your mind.

For the Base

  • 3/4 c butter, cubed & melted
  • 1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 6 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Line a 9x13 (or what we call in my house a frog pan, long story...) with tin foil or parchment paper.

    I have this amazing springform 9x13 pan and I cannot tell you how happy it makes me. In addition to just being awesome, tt also makes lining the bottom of the pan a breeze. Just smooth the foil across the base, slide on the top, smooth any creases this creates, and lock in place. A-MA-ZING!

  3. Grease sides & lined bottom of pan with cooking spray.
    Set aside while combining ingredients.
  4. Combine the melted butter & brown sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature before moving on.

  5. Beat in the eggs & vanilla extract.
  6. Combine the "drys" (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon) and slowly mix into butter batter. - Isn't that fun to say? - butter batter -

  7. Fold in the cranberries & white chocolate chunks. - I always prefer to do these things by hand -

  8. Press dough firmly and evenly into the prepared pan.

  9. Bake for 18-21 minutes - or so the original recipe says - Mine took about 25 minutes, but they were perfect golden brown and not even remotely overcooked.

  10. Allow to cool completely before frosting. You can whip up the frosting while the blondies finish cooling. 

For the Frosting

  • 8 oz neufchatel or cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 6 oz white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries, chopped

  1. Melt the white chocolate.


    I use the microwave on defrost setting in burst of 30 seconds, but go with whatever frosts your cupcake - Get it...instead of floats your boat, frosts your Seriously though, take note: frosts your cupcake, it's going to be a thing.

  2. Whip the neufchatel until fluffy.

  3. Mix in the powdered sugar and stir until fully blended.
  4. Add in 1/2 the melted chocolate, stir to combine.

    If using a springform, take the blondies out of the pan to frost, if not, you can frost/cut/etc in the pan. I personally hate doing that. Hence, springform.

  5. Frost the blondies.

  6. Sprinkle the chopped cranberries across the frosting. Press down gently with your hand to secure them in the frosting.
    *Note I said press, not flatten/push/hulk-smash... just gentle pressure please.

  7. Drizzle with the remaining white chocolate.

    Drizzling makes everything look fancy. Just look at it!

  8. Cut however you see fit.
    I got 24 servings out of mine, the original recipe claims 30. I call BS. ;)
  9. Serve & Enjoy.

Store these bad boys in the refrigerator when not in use. Don't worry about how long they keep, people will scarf these down long before you have to worry about that one. 


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