2000s Recipes + Menus

Chock-Full Blondie Squares

Serves10 to 12
  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:2 hr (includes cooling)
December 2005
Loaded with dried fruit, toasted almonds, and bittersweet chocolate, these blondies combine the best of a brownie with what you wish fruitcake could taste like. A terrific addition to any holiday cookie platter, they are also a satisfying stand-alone dessert.
  • 1 cup boiling-hot water
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (5 oz)
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries (5 oz)
  • 1 cup golden rasins (5 oz)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole almonds with skins (6 oz), toasted and very coarsely chopped
  • 8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened; preferably 60 to 70% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • Special equipment:

    a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan (1 inch deep)
  • Accompaniment:

    eggnog ice cream (optional)
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour baking pan, knocking out excess flour.
  • Pour boiling-hot water over dried fruit in a small bowl and soak 20 minutes, then drain well in a sieve.
  • Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in another bowl.
  • Beat together melted butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Mix in dried fruit, almonds, and chocolate.
  • Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack. Run a thin knife around edges of pan to loosen blondie, then cut blondie into roughly 3-inch squares.
Cooks’ note: Blondie can be baked (but not cut into squares) 2 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
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