These vanilla blondies are wonderfully dense and chewy with plenty of dark chocolate and dried cranberries, plus a hint of fresh orange zest. They’re made from Kristin Hoffman’s Master Blondie recipe found in her cookbook Baker Bettie’s Better Baking Cookbook.
- 3/4 cup (150g) light or dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 113g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2g) kosher salt
- 1 and 1/3 cups (160g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (130g) bittersweet or dark chocolate chips or chunks (see note)
- 3/4 cup (105g) dried cranberries
- Prep: At least 30 minutes before baking, take the eggs out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Measure out the rest of the ingredients. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. Position an oven rack in the center position. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan or 9-inch (23 cm) round pan with parchment paper or grease with non-stick spray.
- Blondies: In a large mixing bowl whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and melted butter. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and orange zest and whisk until well incorporated, about 30 seconds.
- Add the baking powder, salt, and flour to the mixing bowl and use a silicone spatula or mixing spoon to stir together until well combined. Stir for about 30 seconds to purposely develop a little bit of gluten, which will give your blondies more chewiness. Fold in the chocolate and dried cranberries.
- Transfer the mixture into your prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 28-33 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Set the pan on a cooling rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing into squares. Since I use a cake pan, I slice into 12 wedges.
- Store leftover blondies at room temperature in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
- Freezing Instructions: To freeze, it’s best to cool the blondies completely. Cut into squares/wedges and layer between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature before serving.
- Extra Egg Yolk: You need 1 whole egg + 1 extra egg yolk. The extra egg yolk promises a chewier, denser texture. Without it, blondies can taste a little dry and sandy.
- Chocolate: For the dark chocolate, I use a coarsely chopped 4-ounce bittersweet chocolate baking bar. You can find these in the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips. A bittersweet, dark, or semi-sweet chocolate bar or chocolate chips/chunks work. Feel free to replace with white chocolate.
- Reprinted with adaptations with permission from Baker Bettie’s Better Baking Book
Keywords: dark chocolate cranberry blondies