What is it about my brain that makes it want to categorize everything? When I was little, my “grouping” skills were always on display at Halloween. As soon as I’d get in from trick-or-treating, I’d sort all my candy into piles. It was really just so I could see what I had and could give anything with nuts in it to my dad. I mean, I didn’t eat it in order or anything, so it wasn’t that weird. (?)
This month, I’m categorizing cookies. I like to make a mix of sweet things at Christmastime. Some easy cookies, some more involved. Some old favorites and some new recipes.
These blondies fall into the “easy” and “try something new” quadrant of my baking brain. They come together so quickly and easily that I don’t even bother with the mixer. Just a big bowl, a whisk, and ingredients you probably already have on hand, and you’ve got yourself some seriously rocking Christmas cookies.
The sweet-tart raspberry jam in these pairs so well with the dark chocolate, although other flavors would be delicious, too. I used raspberry because it’s my husband’s favorite flavor, but you could use whatever you like: blackberry, apricot, orange? All would work. But, these are so Christmas-y (a word or not a word?), studded with the jewel-red raspberry jam, and the buttery, gooey consistency makes them completely decadent. I thought about cutting them into smaller pieces, but what’s the point, really? You’re definitely going to eat two.
These are bar cookies that have graciously gotten all dressed up for Christmas.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup lightly-packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup dark chocolate chunks
- 2 T. seedless red raspberry jam
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8” baking dish lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla, and salt, and whisk to incorporate.
- Add the flour and stir just until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
- Pour batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Dot the raspberry jam evenly over the top, and swirl it into the batter with a butter knife.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes until the middle is just set and the edges come away from the pan. Cool completely before cutting.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.