Blondies, as I have mentioned before, are a kind of bar cookie that spans the gap between a regular chocolate chip-type cookie and a brownie. They are typically made with a plain (i.e. nonchocolate) dough that has plenty of mixed in chocolate chips, nuts or dried fruits, but have a dense and fudgy texture that is most often associated with brownies.
My inspiration to make blondies was from a picture that Joe had up on Culinary in the Country. In his batch of blondies, which included cinnamon and chocolate chips, it was easy to see the signature texture of the blondie – the moist and almost fudgy center that sets them apart from a regular cookie. I based my recipe on his, using just a touch less butter and sugar, but still excluding a leavening agent (much as I did in making my Peppermint Cookies and Cream Brownies to prevent the batter from loosing it rich and dense texture during baking. I also used my Baker’s Edge pan, and as expected, each piece turned out to be perfectly done with it.
The blondies turned out to be chewy and delicious, and while they were not nearly as fudgy as brownies, they still managed to give the impression that you’re eating something more than just a cookie. They’re perfect with a big glass of milk. The focal point of this batch was the large amount of chopped dark chocolate-covered cranberries that I mixed into the dough. I ended up adding a handful of extra dried cranberries for some extra tartness and if you don’t have chocolate-covered berries, go ahead and split the amount given below between chopped dark chocolate and plain dried cranberries.
Dark Chocolate Cranberry Blondies
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate covered cranberries, chopped
(or 1 1/2 cups of a mix of chopped dark chocolate and dried cranberries)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly grease the Baker’s Edge pan (or a 9×13-inch baking dish).
In a large mixing bowl, stir together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Stir in flour and salt, mixing just until no streaks of flour remain, then add in dark chocolate covered cranberries. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
Bake for about 27-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is a light golden brown. If using a 9×13, the brownies may be slightly thinner, so be sure to check them early; it is better to check once or twice than to have overdone blondies.
Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Makes about 20 blondies.