With the amount of sweets that I have posted on this blog, you would think I’m an enthusiastic baking queen. I have news for all of you – I actually don’t like baking. Ha! Cooking relaxes me, but baking frustrates me:). Well, this is one of my favorite kinds of desserts to make – you mix the batter by hand, dump it into the baking dish and it bakes while you move on to more important things. The results are phenomenal. These bars are tender and slightly chewy and not too sweet either, which is important to me. I got the recipe for these blondies from Cook’s Illustrated, and adjusted it to my liking. The combination of white chocolate, macadamia nuts and dried cranberries is a must. You can add other things to it, such as regular chocolate chips, use different nuts or raisins, etc. Let these blondes be your canvas, and you create your masterpiece. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter ( 1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 – 1 cup white chocolate chips (or semi sweet chocolate chips, or a chopped chocolate bar)3/4 – 1 cup macadamia nuts (or walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, etc.)
1/2 – 3/4 cup cry cranberriesPreheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 13×9 inch rimmed baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. In a large bowl, whisk the melted and slightly cooled butter with the brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix the batter with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the batter, being careful not to over mix. (I used a whisk, and it was fine, but a spoon or a spatial will be better.)Add the white chocolate, macadamia nuts and dried cranberries, mix to combine. Transfer the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 22-25 minutes. Cool the bars to room temperature and then take them out of the pan along with the aluminum foil. Cut into bars.