At this time of the year, there isn’t a lot of time to spare. For many of us, the family calendar is chock full of events: the children’s winter concerts, company holiday parties, travel, gatherings with friends and family, tree trimming, visits with Santa, holiday present shopping, Christmas card writing…
I could go on and on.
To add to the fun, our family recently welcomed a new addition. You may have seen on Twitter that we are now the proud “parents” of an English Bulldog puppy named Wilbur. He is absolutely adorable, but a whole lot of work! I’ve never done the puppy thing before, but it’s definitely like having a baby in the house all over again. Needless to say, time is at a premium.
So when it comes to baking, whether for the evening’s dessert or for holiday sharing and gifting, you have to be efficient during this festive season. When I’m short on time, I always turn to cookie bars such as brownies and blondies. It’s the ultimate in simplicity: one bowl, one baking pan, no fuss. When we welcomed Wilbur to our home, I managed to produce some Cherry Chocolate Blondie Bars with virtually no effort at all.
But don’t be fooled, simplicity does not sacrifice flavor. The dried cherries add a chewy tang to the semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, and the best part is that the bars keep quite well. Perfect for gift giving.
So, I know you’re busy; I won’t keep you any longer. Go get baking! As my husband says, “work smarter not harder.” Bake these bar cookies and you’ll be done in no time.
Cherry Chocolate Blondie Bars
Makes one dozen squares.
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare an 8×8 pan, lining it with parchment paper and spraying with cooking spray.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fully. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing throughly with each addition. Add vanilla extract.
Mix in chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and dried cherries.
Spread in prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick is clean.
Cool on a wire rack, then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.