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Cranberry Pistachio Blondies

December 13, 2012

Thinking of Blondies again this time of year- they are so delicious in their original form  but they are SO open to tinkering. I was getting ready for a holiday cookie swap with my new buddies who are part of Food Bloggers LA and thought cranberries and pistachios would make a great combo.

But it was also my Novio’s birthday – and it was a big one. I whisked him away for a 24-hour vacation at a terrific B&B  called the Inn at Playa del Rey.

The Inn at Playa Del Rey

It was exactly what we needed. Plus the breakfast was delicious. The hosts were wonderful and gracious enough to share their recipe for Orange Muffins (coming soon).

Inn at Playa del Rey breakfast

And what does all this have to do with Blondies?? That’s what I was busy with right before we left…

First, I toasted the pistachios. I was in a hurry and used the first pan I could grab – the smallest. As you can see, the little fellas are a bit crowded. Use a larger saute pan. Once they’re fragrant, give them a rough chop.

toast pistachios

chopping the nuts

Blondies! Starring Cranberries and Pistachios

caranberries and pistachios

and co-starring…

chocolate and white chocolate chips

Blondie batters are very thick, like chocolate chip cookie dough. Thwack it into the center of your pan. I like the word thwack.

thick blondie batter

raw blondie batter

Smooth it out to either end with a spatula. Get those corners.

And presenting…

blondies are ready

Whether you call these Congo Bars or Blondies or you’re new to the concept, dive right in and whip a batch. Share them and see how popular you become!

gimme a blondie

CRANBERRY-PISTACHIO BLONDIES

Ingredients:

1 c. unbleached flour
1/2 c. whole-wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1  1/2 sticks sweet unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. light brown sugar ( I use less sugar than in the original version because the cranberries have added sugar)
2 eggs, room temperature
2 t. pure vanilla
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (the larger, the better)
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 c. cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or line with parchment paper (fold and crease the paper into the corners so you can spread the batter evenly).

Toast pistachios in a dry skillet (heat skillet first) for about 4 minutes at medium heat or until just fragrant. Chop coarsely.

Cream butter and sugar by hand until very light and fluffy or beat for about 3 minutes using stand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix into butter/sugar mixture. Add vanilla.

Stir in flour mixture (low speed on stand mixer). Add chocolate and white chocolate chips, pistachios and cranberries.

Spread evenly in baking pan, from center outward.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until shiny and slightly cracked on top and feels firm to the touch.  If they seem a bit undercooked, that’s okay. They firm up a little as they cool and you don’t want them overly hard. Place on rack to cool, then cut into squares or rectangles (cut an 8×4 grid or a 9×4 grid).

Makes 32 -36 bars.

Prepare yourself for the compliments.

The Stars

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From → Desserts

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