Did anyone else have the post-Thanksgiving blues? I got home after a week with family and had a rough time adjusting back to normal life. I wanted to stay in my pajamas and in bed all day. I scoured the freezer for meals, bought groceries to make pot pies but when it came time to make them I just didn’t want to do it so we ordered pizza, and one night I ate salad straight from the plastic container it came in instead of using a plate. Keeping it classy, y’all. I am back from my hiatus and have even cooked a couple of proper meals this week. Hopefully my post-Christmas blues don’t find me in this same predicament…
Christmas is fast approaching and while my shopping is mostly completed and our tree and lights are up I feel like I have a lot of cooking still to do. I’m excited to make some of the nostalgic cookies that bring me right back to my childhood, but I always like to try my hand at something new. So along with some reliable and time-tested recipes, I’ll also share some new ones that would be perfect for the holiday season.
I have a thing for rosemary. An herb that is lovely in savory dishes but really gets along well with sweet flavors, rosemary is also incredibly easy to grow. In fact, the rosemary plant I thought was dead and moved to the side yard to die a slow death is doing better than the one I have been caring for on the back porch. That should give you an idea of my gardening skills. The blog is already full of sweets that feature rosemary, but that isn’t stopping me from sharing another one with you!
These blondies were a big hit with my husband, who prefers his sweets more on the savory side. My 4-year-old was not a fan. My 2-year old ate them up happily, a girl after my own heart. It has butter and sugar in it? We are in.
Brown butter and dark brown sugar make these blondies quite rich. Add pecans and rosemary to the mix and the flavors are all warm and rich. The cranberries are a welcomed sweet-tart addition that make these blondies more balanced and super delicious.
I went heavy on the salt and rosemary, but realize that not everyone has my taste buds. Opt for less salt and less rosemary if you’re skeptical. Then if you think it needs more you can adjust the next time. I usually say it’s better to have too much than not enough, but that’s not the case with those ingredients.
Brown butter: Place butter in a small saucepan and heat over low-medium heat until butter begins to sizzle and spit. Reduce heat to low, watch closely and swirl the pan occasionally just until butter smells nutty. Pour into a bowl and let cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 325°F and butter a 9×13 pan.
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and rosemary together in a small bowl.
Beat cooled butter and brown sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
Mix in flour mixture and then the pecans and cranberries.
Spread batter into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
More than a few food bloggers I’ve read in the last couple of days have mentioned being done with chocolate. After Valentine’s Day I was in the same boat. And while I had the desire to bake something sweet and delicious I knew I needed to steer clear of cocoa. These blondies were the perfect compromise.
I love blondies, maybe, just maybe more than I love brownies, but it depends so I can’t say for sure. These blondies have a cream cheese swirl and pecans to make them even more delicious. The top and edges get crispy and crunchy while the inside stays moist and chewy. It’s a glorious combination.
You can substitute walnuts for the pecans, or leave the nuts out altogether if you’re just not a fan of nuts or if you have an allergy. The blondie batter can even be used on its own without the cream cheese. You could mix in white or dark chocolate chips, toffee, or whatever you’d like. The recipe calls for cake flour, and while I think all purpose would be OK, I haven’t tried it out. Let me know if you come up with any spectacular combinations!
These are wonderful on their own, but also quite nice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But really, what isn’t nice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? “Enjoy!” says Betsy.
Last week I made 3 batches of blondies hoping to create something irresistibly delicious. I originally planned on making a Candy Bar Blondie with a variety of candy bars chopped into chocolate chip sized pieces. I used a basic blondie recipe and then just replaced the chips and buts with the candy pieces.
Attempt #1 resulted in a yummy treat filled with chopped Snickers, Rolos, Reeses and Twix. The problem was that the edges rose up on the sides and stayed there after the blondies cooled creating a sunken and sad looking baked good. A blondie sinkhole. I used a metal 8×8 inch pan which I’d greased. The middle of the blondies were incredibly gooey, but the edges were hard and caramelized. Hmmm. I decided to try again.
Attempt #2 used the same combination of candy bars, sans the Twix because I ran out. I tried to bake this one in a glass pan which I greased and floured. I assumed the problem was my baking pan preparation. Same basic recipe. New pan. Same problem. Intriguing…and a tad bit frustrating.