Desserts, Sweet Snacks

Cranberry Chocolate Chip and Toasted Walnut Blondies

Cranberries and toasted walnuts. For me, these count as winter flavors. Sort of like apples tend to be autumn flavors. It’s funny how my brain associates flavors with times of the year, eh? Seeing there is still snow in the air and the Winter Olympics are on the TV, winter food is fair game right about now, so I thought these Cranberry Chocolate Chip and Toasted Walnut Blondies to be perfect for an afternoon snack. And foolproof, I might add.

1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened to room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons rum
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 350F. Make a foil sling for your 13 x 9 inch pan. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place dried cranberries in a small bowl with the rum and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together both sugars and butter. Add eggs and vanilla, and continue to mix. In another large mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add creamed mixture and blend well. Add chocolate chips and toasted walnuts. Drain any remaining rum from the cranberries (most will likely been absorbed to make the cranberries plumper) and add to the bowl. Mix in final ingredients by hand.

Spread blondie batter in the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes (until just golden brown). They will look soft in middle and if you desire and more cake like bar, bake 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 30 minutes.

Using foil overhang, lift blondies from pan. Return blondies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour more. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

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