Good morning! I finally have a new computer after an apple juice fiasco a few months ago (followed shortly by a washing machine vs. iPhone fiasco... we're talking the same week!). Anyway, it is great to be back just in time for my favorite time of year. I love December. The weather gets colder and forces you to be cozy and stay inside. Alex has been putting our fireplace to good use already and Lucia and I love it! It is supposed to snow here tomorrow and we are getting ready to have some decadent and dreamy dark hot cocoa (recipe here) while we watch the snow fall on the evergreen trees outside our windows. We might even have a couple of these delicious White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies, too :)
White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies
3/4 cup melted butter, plus more for buttering pan
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
2 2/3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 ounces white chocolate chips
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
6 candy canes, crushed
Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a 13 x 9 rectangular baking dish by buttering the bottom and sides and then lining with a parchment sheet. Make sure the parchment sheet hangs over the long sides by 2 inches. In your KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, peppermint extract, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add the eggs and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it around until it is evenly distributed. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until top is slightly browned and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack. While the blondies are cooling, prepare the frosting by whipping the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract together in your KitchenAid fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until the frosting is light and airy, about 2-3 minutes. Once the blondies are completely cooled, pour the frosting over the top and spread evenly. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top and press down slightly with the heel of your palm. Set the baking dish into the freezer for about 30 minutes. Remove the blondies from the baking dish by pulling out the parchment paper. Cut into 18 squares and then cut the squares diagonally to make 36 triangles.
Lucia mixing the dry ingredients
I've realized that if I include her in my projects and give her a special task, I can work a lot faster! It is a lot better than trying to fit fun things in while she naps and I am so happy when she is interested in the things I love doing. Yesterday, she said "mommy bake cookies" while we were at the store and my heart melted!
Always interested in the KitchenAid
Testing the dough
The best part of helping my mom bake when I was younger
Alex crushing the candy canes in a ziplock bag with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. This project was a true family affair!
The dough in the prepared pan, ready to go
Make sure it is completely cooled before you frost it or else the frosting will melt