I can’t say I’m entirely sure what has happened to my last month… it is honestly all a bit hazy and the rest of the month promises to be just as much of a blur!
I had a great time deciding what to make for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap created/hosted by Julie and Lindsay. I knew it would have to evoke my favorite flavors as well as my favorite holiday flavors, so for me that meant there needed to be chocolate and gingerbread involved somehow.
I also knew that whatever I made was going to have some of those lovely macadamia nuts I had in the pantry. These cookie bars were nothing short of stellar! The flavors were all there, plus they were sturdy enough for travel and stay nice for several days. They may not be the fanciest or prettiest bar in the bunch, but they sure are a crowd pleaser!
Though it isn’t required as part of the cookie swap, I really wanted to be able to link and say thank you to the three lovely ladies who sent me my cookies. All three of you came through and with packages that were wonderfully gorgeous! You have no idea how much that helped me find some holiday spirit when I’ve been feeling in a total funk lately.
My thanks go out to:
As for these bars, they went out on their way to three more lovely ladies who let me know via Twitter that they arrived safe, sound and delicious. Happy Holidays to you all and especially to my swappers!
These bars were sent out with much love to my following fellow bloggers:
I actually printed the little picture above onto a 3×5 card and placed that in the box with the blondies that I sent. That was pretty much the extent of my not-so-fancy packaging! I’ve admitted it before, but I’m just not really very crafty minded. I hope the taste of the blondies made up for the lack of pretty!
If you are interested in receiving information for next year’s cookie swap, please go here.
Double Chocolate Gingerbread Macadamia Blondies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons or 10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup white chocolate chips
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks or chips
3/4 cup roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts, chopped coarsely
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 17×12-inch baking sheet (half sheet pan) with a rimmed edge (at least 1-inch) by spraying the pan or oiling it with vegetable oil, then line the pan with parchment and spray the parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
In the large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well, about 30 seconds each. Add the vanilla and mix well. Add the molasses and beat 1 minute to combine well.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just barely combined. Add all the chocolate and nuts and stir to combine.
Pour and scrape the batter into the pan and use an small spatula to spread the batter evenly over the pan. Bake for 26-28 minutes or until the blondies are lightly browned around the edges and starting to pull away from the sides. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares. Makes about 4 dozen squares. Store in an airtight container for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to a month.
Inspired by a recipe from Martha Stewart