Efficiency

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…

Efficiency

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.

Comments

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  1. norma

    puppies are like babies and husbands…all I have to say….

    Just joined you on twitter……

    Reply
  2. shannon a.

    cherry chocolate blondie bars sound delicious!!Great Post and congrats on being named Foodbuzz’s Top 9!!! That is a pretty cool honor!!!

    Reply
  3. Joy

    Those look so good. I love blondies and I like the combo of cherry and chocolate.

    Reply
  4. Priscilla - She's Cookin'

    Wilbur is adorable and I’m sure he’s keeping you very busy! I love the combination of chocolate and cherry and with my limited baking skills, I’m all for efficiency: smart man, your husband – but how is he at puppy training ;)

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks – Wilbur is absolutely keeping me busy. And I’m happy to report that thankfully, the hubbie is pretty darned good at puppy training (that pup is all his when he’s home!).

      Reply
  5. Trish

    Love what your husband says, “work smarter not harder.” These blondies sound terrific. Love how there’s cherries inside and how they’re easy :-) My kind of treat.

    Reply
  6. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels

    How cute, a new puppy! I LOVE his name! :)

    Your blondies are not only delicious looking but they’re gorgeous! You take such beautiful photos. I love the pairing of chocolate and cherries so I am VERY excited about your recipe!

    Reply
  7. Cristina

    Luv the DOF on that intro image, Liren. I’m going to have to try my hand at blondies…I’ve never made or tasted them before. They look like they’d be perfect with tea!

    LOL! You’re going to have your hands full with the cute little Wilbur-puppy addition. Congratulations on your new family member. Fur-kids are priceless…how fun for your children too. :)

    Reply
  8. Monet

    Oh a new puppy! How very exciting. It is my dream to get a puppy one day (but as for now our landlords won’t allow it!) These bars look delicious. I love how simple they are to prepare (and I’m sure they taste like you spent hours on them!) Thank you for sharing with me. I hope you have a great Monday!

    Reply
  9. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    I *know* how much I would love these – I make a version with cranberries and pistachios but was just thinking today that white choc chips would be perfect in these. Bookmarking this recipe for in the deep dark days of January!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Mm, love pistachios – that would be great in a blondie bar! Love the way you think!

      Reply
  10. Kori

    The combo of chocolate and cherry sounds perfectly delicious and festive…thanks for sharing, and happy holidays!!!

    Reply
  11. skip to malou

    i miss those days when it was crazy busy but fun days! And you reminded me how good it felt after checking each of the things in your to do list… oh those days!

    Enjoy the holidays Liren!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Enjoy your holidays, too, Malou! It’s a good reminder for me to appreciate these times, because it really does go by so fast.

      Reply
  12. A Canadian Foodie

    I have not forgotten about this time in my life, yet you just reminded me of how wonderful it was to be Wonder Woman. That is what you are… a young mom with young kids doing a thousand things at a time and falling into bed – maybe at a reasonable hour. Probably not. These are a great idea for a quick fix… but, I have seen your other food, too, my dear!!!
    :)
    Valerie

    Reply
    • Liren

      Wow, a Wonderwoman. I like how that sounds :) When you put it that way, I guess in some ways you are right! I honestly don’t know how so many mothers juggle it all, but it really does make for a very full life!

      Reply
  13. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot

    Yum, yum, yum! These look amazing Liren! I adore the combination of chocolate and cherry. Say hi to Wilbur for me. Adorable name by the way and how can you say no to that sweet face?

    Reply
    • Liren

      Ha ha, I have to say, Wilbur is lucky he has such a cute face – it helps a LOT.

      Reply
  14. Bunkycooks

    Wilbur is just precious! Yes, they are a great deal of work, but most certainly love you unconditionally. These bars look perfect for a quick and delicious snack!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thank you! Wilbur is definitely too cute for his own good – I can already tell that there will be a lot of love coming from him :)

      Reply
  15. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }

    Okay – Wilbur is just the CUTEST! Love his little scrunchy face. :-) Those bars look supreme and love that they are easy. Your husband is a wise man – “work smarter not harder”. Have a terrific rest of the weekend!!!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Ha ha, I wonder if my husband is reading these comments – you will definitely be on his good side!

      Reply
  16. Sara @CaffeIna

    I really need to keep this blondies in mind, Liren. I do not have kids and yet I feel the same rush in getting everything done in these December weeks. And I don’t have a puppy as adorable as Wilbur but I have three cats. A super yummy and quick recipe like this is perfect for me this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Sara! We have two cats, too, and Wilbur is giving them lots of entertainment, to say the least :) Gotta love these furry creatures. Hope you’re feeling better by now!

      Reply
  17. Lindsey

    Love them!! Blondies have become my ultimate favorite. I think the best I ever made were pumpkin spice blondies. Enjoy!

    Reply
  18. fooddreamer

    Mmm, they’re gorgeous. We just received a large tin of dried cherries for Christmas, so I have my eye on this recipe! You’re right, simplicity doesn’t have to mean flavourless, and these obviously are not flavourless. Enjoy the puppy!

    Reply
  19. Becky

    Congratulations on your new puppy! Puppies are just like babies, but they are fun:)

    These bars looks so good, and would be a quick addition to a holiday table.

    Reply
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