Is anyone else having a hard time concentrating today? I feel like I’m free, but I keep having to remind myself that I still have to
- make a dinner party tonight
- frost a cake
- zip uptown to Zabar’s
- buy wrapping paper
- wrap gifts
- pack those gifts and all my stuff into a suitcase
- get on a very early flight to Austin
WHEW.But first—Gingerbread Blondies. I promise they’re worth adding to your to-do list.I mean, chewy, winter-spiced blondies with fluffy frosting and a jewel-like ginger garnish are basically always worth it.Like Wednesday’s Eggnog Cookies, these holiday-perfect blondies don’t require any skills you don’t already have. Just whisk together a quick batter, bake it, cool it, frost, garnish and slice it.Boom—all the sweet Christmas cheer your heart desires, ready to go in just a couple of hours.These Gingerbread Blondies are my last recipe post of 2018. I’ll be taking next Wednesday off to spend time with my family, but I’ll be back on Friday for my annual 10 Most Popular Recipes list.If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a merry one! And no matter which holiday you celebrate (or lack thereof), I wish you all a sweet end to 2018.
makes one 8-inch pan
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2/3 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup candied ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coarse sugar (I use turbinado)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch square pan, line with parchment, and grease again. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, and molasses. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt, and whisk until combined.
Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs. Let blondies cool completely in the pan on a rack.
While the blondies are cooling, make the garnish. In a small bowl, toss together candied ginger and coarse sugar. Set aside.
Make vanilla buttercream. In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in confectioner’s sugar in two installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Beat in salt, followed by vanilla and heavy cream.
Use an offset icing knife to frost bars. I like to do this in the pan so that the edges are clean. Scatter candied ginger garnish over the top.
Use overhang to carefully lift bars onto a cutting board. Gently peel back edges of the parchment. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice into 16 bars, wiping the knife clean between cuts.
Serve blondies. Store leftovers in an airtight container with wax paper between layers. They will keep at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to five.