Wondering about a cranberry blondie

This recipe was given to me by my wonderful friend Martha (not Martha Stewart)- as a cake recipe. I’ve made it about a hundred times and every time I do the same thing happens: people initially weren’t very interested. Unlike brownies that sell themselves, I always had to make sure that I’d removed a piece or arranged squares on a plate and even then it usually took one adventurous soul to get the party started. Initially I was thinking it was the “cranberries” – maybe everyone isn’t the fan I am but after going on a homemade brownie kick I started to see my cake in a new light. The recipe had no baking powder or soda, it’s dense and sweet. Maybe it’s not a cake. Maybe it’s my cranberry blondie!

Set oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. I use a Pyrex one and although I usually use crisco to grease pans, my butter was so soft that I ended up using the butter wrappers. Add 3 eggs to your mixing bowl. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment.

Add 2 cups of granulated sugar, I know it seems like a lot, but this is a desert! You’ll mix this on medium speed for about 5 minutes, you’ll see it transform from the thick yellow mixture below (original color will depend on your eggs)…

to a light a fluffy pale mixture – see below. Add 3/4 cups softened butter (1 1/2 sticks) – mine was pretty soft, I have softened in microwave in past – as long as it’s not “hot” you should be okay – and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix on medium again for 2-3 minutes.

Add 2 cups of all purpose flour, I usually try to sneak wheat flour into most my baking but I wouldn’t try it here. I mixed on low just to combine and pulled it off mixer and removed paddle giving a final mix by hand – you don’t want to mix too much once you add the flour – it starts to activate gluten and can make things tough.

Then gently fold in 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of cranberries. I like to be able to taste th blondie as well as the cranberries. I usually go with about 1 1/2 cups and mine were frozen, I didn’t bother to thaw them out. If you like nuts you can also add in 2/3 cups chopped pecans. I’m usually taking mine to a party and with so many nut allergies these days I tend to skip the pecans.

This will be a very stiff batter. I plop it in the pan and then use an offset spatula to spread it evenly throughout the pan.

Then comes my favorite part. I sprinkle the entire top with about 2 heaping Tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Pop the blondie in the center of your preheated oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until toothpick in center comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy! I have not tried this warm, but I will next time! I have also not tried freezing this but on rare occasions it has sat out on my counter for up to four days and it’s still great on day four.

Cranberry Blondies

Set oven to 350 degrees

Grease 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish

3 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup softened butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of cranberries (fresh or frozen)

2/3 cups chopped peacans (optional)

Beat eggs and sugar until light in color – about 5 minutes on medium. Add butter and vanilla and beat on medium for 2-3 minutes. Stir in flour until just combined. Fold in cranberries and nuts if you are using them. Spread in greased pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until center comes out clean.