I hope you all had a very merry Christmas! We didn’t have a white Christmas, but it was wonderful nevertheless. My family is very traditional, so there is very little change in our holiday gatherings from year to year. Even the slightest change may be cause for a major freak out. For example, there MUST be canned green beans at Christmas dinner. If you even suggest having fresh green beans or green bean casserole, my relatives might have a heart attack! As a result, every Christmas is practically a carbon copy of the one before it, but there were a few minor changes this year. 🙂
-Christmas day was wet, gray, and cloudy. Typical Pacific Northwest weather. 🙂
-During the 2.5 hour drive to my grandpa’s house, my dad made our five family members take turns saying things we were thankful for. Very cheesy, but my dad loves it.
-Everyone told my grandpa that he needs to get a new Christmas tree. He has been putting up the same fake scrawny tree with droopy branches for the last 20 years, and refuses to invest in a new one. 🙂
-All of my male relatives sat around and watched NBA games while the women cooked.
-We had the EXACT same meal that we have every single Christmas (and Thanksgiving), except we swapped out the ham with prime rib this year, gasp!
-My aunt added brandy to the cranberry sauce and it was the best it’s ever been. SO GOOD.
-I enjoyed a glass of red wine (or two) with dinner instead of sparkling apple cider.
-The boys cleaned up after dinner. This was a momentous occasion in our family history. I really hope someone snapped a picture!
-Instead of having pumpkin, pecan, apple, and lemon meringue pies for dessert, we just kept it simple with a few different types of cookies. My contribution was blondies with a holiday twist, which included white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and orange zest. Delish!
Change is definitely good, but I really missed my pies! Next year, I will make sure that there is pie for dessert, even if it means I have to make them all myself! 🙂
White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Blondies
Source: adapted from flamingobear
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I omitted this because I didn’t have any)
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- zest of one large orange
- 2/3 cup white chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 13×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhang to make removal of blondies easier.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and orange zest.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts.
5. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and bake in preheated oven for 30-32 minutes. Do not overbake! When done, top will be shiny, cracked, golden brown, and slightly puffed. Toothpick will come out clean with a few crumbs attached.
6. Let blondies on a wire rack until completely cool. Using parchment handles, remove blondies from pan. Cut blondies into squares and store in an airtight container at room temperature.