" From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas bring us closer to each other". -Emily Matthews
This post is part of a series, Handmade Holiday Gifts.
These blondies are so delicious! They are chewy, and crunchy, sweet and fruity. I believe I don't eat blondies nearly often enough. I like that these are unique and festive. Either alone, or paired with your favorite brownies wrapped in plastic wrap in a Chineese takeout box would make a great gift. Or presented in a tin, or wrapped in tissue in a larger box.
They would also be a wonderful thing for a cookie party, or to bring to a holiday gathering.
These call for dried apricots, cranberries and cherries, although any dried fruit would work. The red flavors are good because they are especially festive, but use what you like. Also any type of nut works. I used pecans and walnuts.
all wrapped up
before going in the oven
Festive and Fruity White Chocolate Blondies
adapted from a recipe out of an old little flip book called, Chocolate Lovers Collection
1 2/3 cups white chocolate chips (my favorite brand is Guittard)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter- I used salted
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup orange juice
zest of an orange, or 1 tsp orange zest
1 cup mixed dried fruit-chopped - I used dried apricots and a mixture of dried cranberries and cherries.
1/2 cup chopped nuts-your choice I used walnuts and pecans
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 inch square pan, then create a sling using parchment paper, by laying a piece of parchment in the pan the pan one way, folding the paper if necessary to fit, with the paper hanging over, then do it the other way in the opposite direction. Grease the parchment paper.
In a saucepan melt the butter. I cooked it until brown to make brown butter, but I'm not sure I could tell. So either melt the butter, or cook it till brown. Add 1 cup white chips. (save the rest for later.) Stir the mixture until the chips are melted. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat the eggs until foamy, then add the sugar. Beat until thick and pale yellow in color. Add the flour, salt, orange zest, juice and the butter/choc mixture. Beat until combined.
Spread one half of the mixture in the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven.
While that is baking, mix 3/4 cup of the mixed fruit into the rest of the batter. (save the 1/4 cup for the topping) add the remaining 2/3 cup white chocolate chips to the batter and stir. When the bottom layer is done, spread the 2nd mixture on top of it. It's thick, so drop it by the spoonful if you have to, as evenly as you can. (No worries, when it gets hot it will spread out.)
For the topping mix the brown sugar with the nuts, sprinkle that on top of the blondies, then as the final step, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup dried fruit to the top.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, check if it's done by inserting a knife inside to check if it's set.
Cool in pan for an hour. Then remove bars using the sling. If you refrigerate the bars first, they will cut more cleanly. Cut into bars.
When my nephew, who is now 19, yikes! was 3 yrs old or so, I was babysitting him. This pig was on the kitchen counter. He saw it when he was washing his hands and exclaimed, "That pig that cooks food is silly"!
So forever more this pig will be my "pig that cooks food."