Dense, chewy blondies loaded with dried cranberries, toasted pecans and chocolate chunks and smothered in chocolate ganache — These Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Blondies are the perfect holiday bar cookie!
I can’t help it.
I was flipping through the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens for some recipe inspiration and I saw these Bourbon Cranberry Chippers. Now, I don’t cook or bake with or drink a lot of alcohol (hello, I have a 3 year old and a 10 month old), so I left out the Bourbon, but clearly I was not about to leave out the chocolate or dried cranberries.
I promise I’m going to try to make something other than cranberry desserts (I only have a few so far…. this Cranberry Cake, these Cranberry Cupcakes, these Cranberry Caramel Bars… but there are a few more on the way!) for the next 2 months, but meanwhile — Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Blondies.
As I get older, I feel like I understand myself more and more. You know? I know you’re all like, “yeah, yeah. Whatever. What does she even know? She’s like 16 years old.”
I am actually not 16 years old. I just look 16 years old. From far away and in air brushed photos.
When you get a little closer, you can see “haggard mother” written all over my face.
So I’m a high school teacher in Real Life.
Right after I got my Education degree, I got a short term position at a really large high school nearby (really large here being over 1000 students — the school I work in now has under 200 from grades 9-12!). I was walking down the hallway one day, when classes were in session when a teacher asked, “shouldn’t you be in class?”.
I like to think that when I’m 40 I’ll still look 16 except I’ll appreciate it a lot more.
I love magazines. I’ve mentioned this before (probably many times), but I love paper. I like paper books, and I like writing on paper, and I like not having to rely on technology in my classroom every day. When I’m teaching, I really like to have students still write on paper, with a pen or pencil. Call me crazy, but I just know that a paper and pen is never going to fail me (and I say this as I’m typing on my iPad, obviously).
Sure, there are great things about technology, but there’s nothing better than sitting down in the evening and paging through a copy of Better Homes and Gardens for some holiday inspiration. Looking through the décor and design articles, wishing I could actually put something like that together in my own home (since I’ve been blessed with 2 mischievous little girls, I guess I stopped caring about home decorating a little bit).
But something we all enjoy is good food, and Better Homes and Gardens is full of that, too.
When I flipped to the food section, the first thing I saw was the Bourbon Cranberry Chippers and it was hard to pay attention to anything else. They are smothered with a Bourbon chocolate ganache (which you can find in the November issue if you want to replicate it!), but I keep things pretty kid friendly over here. I used my favorite blondie recipe, stirred in some dried cranberries and chocolate chunks and topped with a chocolate ganache (sans the booze). I love baking like this because it’s easy to make a lot and freeze for later. I also love making bars because you can just spread it into a pan instead of rolling or scooping each cookie, which shaves a bit of time of the prep (and is helpful when you’re baking with a 10 month old wrapped around your legs).
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Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Blondies
- 1/2 cup butter 1 stick, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
- 3/4 cup chopped chocolate
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream I use 1% milk
- BlondiesPreheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ pan with tin foil and spray with non stick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Add egg and whisk until combined. Add vanilla, salt, and flours and stir just until combined.
- Stir in pecans, cranberries and chocolate chunks until combined. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Set aside.
- GanacheIn a small pot, combine chocolate and milk or cream. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Spread over blondies and allow to cool to room temperature before slicing (or cut and devour immediately if you dare!).
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