Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Icing

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! These Gingerbread Blondies are soft, chewy and perfectly spiced and topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting! A fun and easier alternative to cut-out gingerbread men!

I am SO weird with ginger. I’m usually not a picky eater, but I am SO picky about this darned spice.

For starters, I loathe fresh ginger. It gives me the heebie-jeebies and it tastes like soap to me. It’s unbearable, and I simply cannot order anything with fresh ginger or candied ginger or crystallized ginger in it. NOPE.

But: I love ginger ale. It’s my go-to when my tummy’s upset, and it makes a great mixer! Maybe because the ginger flavor is far more subtle? Probably.

And during the holiday season, my fave drink at Starbucks is a gingerbread iced chai. Basically, an iced chai tea with one pump of gingerbread syrup. The combination between the aromatic chai spices + gingerbread syrup makes the drink taste like a liquefied cookie! It’s amazing.

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! I thought since my track record with ginger is spotty at best that I wouldn’t care too much for these Gingerbread Blondies, but I was seriously wrong! They have just the right amount of ginger that it reads as gingerbread without being overwhelming or too spicy (or soapy to me!). Of course, you can always add in more ground ginger if you prefer things super gingery spiced, but I’m a more tame ginger lover and thus, these were perfect.

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! The best part about these blondies, though, HAS to be the cream cheese icing! It’s so light and fluffy and is the perfect tangy complement to the spicy, chewy bars. To make them extra festive and sweet, I topped the blondies with holiday non-pareils sprinkles and the cutest little sugary gingerbread men! (I found the men on the seasonal baking aisle at Walmart!). Not only do the gingerbread men help identify what the bars are, they’re just a sweet touch.

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! I totally plan on making a big batch of these and cutting them into tinier squares to gift to my neighbors this holiday season, and you should too!

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! I mean…

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Icing
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18
 
These Gingerbread Blondies are perfectly spiced, soft and chewy bars with a light and fluffy cream cheese icing on top. So perfect for the holidays!
Ingredients
  • FOR THE BLONDIES:
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 & ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 4 Tbsp butter, softened
  • One (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 & ½ - 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Holiday sprinkles, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9x13" rectangular baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar; let cool 5 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition, followed by the vanilla, molasses, baking soda, spices, and flour until a soft batter comes together.
  3. Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan and bake for approximately 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar one cup at a time until frosting is light and fluffy. Spread the frosting evenly over the blondies and top with sprinkles, if using. To make a clean-cut square, cover and refrigerate the blondies about 1 hour.

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! Perfectly spiced, soft and chewy blondies topped with a luxuriously creamy cream cheese icing. What’s not to love?!

These Gingerbread Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting are perfect for the holidays! Soft, chewy, perfectly spiced blondies are topped with a smooth and fluffy cream cheese icing and are decorated adorably for the holidays! Easy and feeds a crowd! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

The Best Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars

These are the PERFECT Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars - the best I've tried! Fudge-like, chewy brown sugar blondies stuffed with cranberries and white chocolate, topped with a fluffy white chocolate cream cheese frosting, tart cranberries, and a drizzle of white chocolate. Heaven for the holidays, and great for Christmas cookie trays! All other versions I’ve tried pale in comparison to these Best Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars! A super gooey, chewy and an almost fudgy brown sugar blondie, they’re topped with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting, sweet-tart cranberries, and a white chocolate drizzle.

I knoooooow. Christmas recipes already?! I must be mad!

Well, yeah. We already know that. Moving on…

I am totally in the holiday spirit already and am just counting down the days until Christmas. I know some of you are rolling your eyes – maybe even clicking out of this post (#bye) because you can’t deal with Christmas stuff yet. And I hear you, okay? But I am going to go ahead and post anyway.

Maybe I’m a little ticked off that I missed Starbucks’ pumpkin scones this year (seriously, I blinked and they were sold out and done for the season. WHAT!), but I am ready to unleash my amazing recipe for their Cranberry Bliss Bars so it’s out in the universe and ready to be consumed any time of year.

This recipe comes from my first book, Out of the Box Desserts, but I figured it deserved some internet fame, too, so here we are with a revamped recipe.

Now: by ‘revamped’ I mean I added some more brown sugar to my book’s recipe, but if you don’t want it as brown sugar-y but still VERY delicious, go by the book’s measurements. The difference is a cup of extra brown sugar, but everything else is the same.

These are the PERFECT Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars - the best I've tried! Fudge-like, chewy brown sugar blondies stuffed with cranberries and white chocolate, topped with a fluffy white chocolate cream cheese frosting, tart cranberries, and a drizzle of white chocolate. Heaven for the holidays, and great for Christmas cookie trays! But when I bite my blondies, I like them to have an almost fudgy texture, like a favorite brownie but with lots of caramel-y brown sugar. By increasing that additional cup of brown sugar, it lends that lovely texture. Again: you can totally follow the book’s measurements! It’s up to you. The world’s your oyster.

These are the PERFECT Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars - the best I've tried! Fudge-like, chewy brown sugar blondies stuffed with cranberries and white chocolate, topped with a fluffy white chocolate cream cheese frosting, tart cranberries, and a drizzle of white chocolate. Heaven for the holidays, and great for Christmas cookie trays! However, if you’re looking and scouring Pinterest for the latest and greatest Cranberry Bliss Bar recipe, you’ve come to the right place. Fudge-like, gooey chewy brown sugar blondies studded with cranberries and white chocolate, then topped with a homemade creamy white chocolate cream cheese frosting, extra sweet-tart cranberries, and a drizzling of pure white chocolate.

I recommend using a higher quality white chocolate for this recipe since it’s such a huge component. These Callebaut chips are AMAZING. It’s a 2lb bag so you’ll get your money’s worth this baking season, and the milky white chocolate flavor is incredible.

These are the PERFECT Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars - the best I've tried! Fudge-like, chewy brown sugar blondies stuffed with cranberries and white chocolate, topped with a fluffy white chocolate cream cheese frosting, tart cranberries, and a drizzle of white chocolate. Heaven for the holidays, and great for Christmas cookie trays! AKA, HEAVEN.

Make them, eat them, love them any time of year!

These are the PERFECT Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars - the best I've tried! Fudge-like, chewy brown sugar blondies stuffed with cranberries and white chocolate, topped with a fluffy white chocolate cream cheese frosting, tart cranberries, and a drizzle of white chocolate. Heaven for the holidays, and great for Christmas cookie trays! *adapted from my book, Out of the Box Desserts

The Best Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18
 
These Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars taste JUST like Starbucks' version but BETTER. Ultra chewy and almost fudgy in texture with a heavenly white chocolate cream cheese frosting, sweet and tart dried cranberries, and white chocolate drizzle!
Ingredients
  • FOR THE BLONDIES:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • FOR THE FROSTING & TOPPING:
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, divided
  • 6 oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" rectangular baking pan with foil, extending the edges of the foil over the sides of the pan. Spray the foil liberally with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar. Let cool for 5 minutes, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Lastly, add in the baking soda, salt, and flour until a thick batter forms. Fold in the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  3. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting: Melt ½ cup of the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, about 15-20 seconds. Stir, then melt some more on low increments until melted. Add in the cream cheese and vanilla and use an electric mixer to combine on medium speed until creamy and combined. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is fluffy and light. Spread the frosting evenly over the bars and top with the dried cranberries.
  5. Melt the remaining ½ cup white chocolate chips low and slow in the microwave. Drizzle evenly over the bars. Let set in the fridge for about 20 minutes before cutting into squares.

These are the PERFECT Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars - the best I've tried! Fudge-like, chewy brown sugar blondies stuffed with cranberries and white chocolate, topped with a fluffy white chocolate cream cheese frosting, tart cranberries, and a drizzle of white chocolate. Heaven for the holidays, and great for Christmas cookie trays! Chewy, brown sugary, cranberry-packed goodness! These will be a winter staple!

These are the PERFECT Copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars - the best I've tried! Fudge-like, chewy brown sugar blondies stuffed with cranberries and white chocolate, topped with a fluffy white chocolate cream cheese frosting, tart cranberries, and a drizzle of white chocolate. Heaven for the holidays, and great for Christmas cookie trays!  Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

*This post contains some affiliate links.

Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies

These Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies are fantastic! Fudgy, peanut buttery, brown sugar blondies topped with a crackly, crisp sugar topping and rich, melt in your mouth Hershey Kisses. Just like the cookies but so much easier! Everyone’s had a peanut butter blossom cookie, but have you tried Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies?! These are so much easier than dropping cookies and make for gooey, fudgy bars!

I don’t know about you, but peanut butter blossoms are some of my favorite cookies.

A soft and chewy peanut butter cookie topped with a solid chocolate Kiss candy… just perfection!

I know they’re kind of Christmas-y, or at least, they’re popular at Christmastime in the Parker household. But I figured since they’re made with Kisses and Valentine’s Day is coming up… well, you can do the math 🙂

I found the idea for these from my friend Ashley over at Baker by Nature, and because I was pondering ways to make these cookies into bars. Personally, bars are one of my favorite things to make because they’re such a cinch – throw the ingredients into the pan and bake! No dropping, rolling, or cutting anything out, and certainly no waiting for batches to finish before you can put another pan in. Not even a dough chilling!

These Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies are fantastic! Fudgy, peanut buttery, brown sugar blondies topped with a crackly, crisp sugar topping and rich, melt in your mouth Hershey Kisses. Just like the cookies but so much easier! And these could not be more simple, I promise! Made in one bowl, baked in one pan, mixed with one spatula. See? I told you this was already easier than the cookie version!

To make these, simply melt some butter. You can do this in the microwave, or on the stove – whichever you prefer. I honestly alternate, as sometimes I feel like I’d rather cook it on the stove, or perhaps my microwave’s being used.

These Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies are fantastic! Fudgy, peanut buttery, brown sugar blondies topped with a crackly, crisp sugar topping and rich, melt in your mouth Hershey Kisses. Just like the cookies but so much easier!  Whisk some brown sugar and peanut butter into the melted butter, followed by eggs, vanilla, and your dry ingredients. Pour the mixture into a foil-lined & greased pan, scatter sugar over the top, and bake! Once it’s baked, take it out of the oven and dot the top with those adorable baby Kisses candies.

And then try not to freak out over their cuteness!

(By the way – these are BABY Hershey’s Kisses. I found them in the baking aisle (near the chocolate chips!) at Target. They’re seriously like half the size of a regular Hershey Kiss candy and they come unwrapped… and are perfect for baking. If you cannot find them, simply use regular Hershey’s Kisses!)

These Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies are fantastic! Fudgy, peanut buttery, brown sugar blondies topped with a crackly, crisp sugar topping and rich, melt in your mouth Hershey Kisses. Just like the cookies but so much easier!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18
 
These Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies are not only adorable, but seriously tasty, too! Fudgy, gooey peanut butter & brown sugar blondies topped with a sugary topping and cute miniature Hershey's Kisses! Just like the cookies but SO MUCH EASIER!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • Hershey's Miniature Kisses (available in the baking aisle at Target stores. If you cannot find these unwrapped mini Kisses, use regular unwrapped Kisses or even chocolate chunks)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13" rectangular pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In in medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Whisk in the brown sugar until combined and let cool about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the creamy peanut butter, followed by the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla. Whisk in the dry ingredients until a thick, smooth batter comes together.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top liberally with the white sugar. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes, then dot the top with the miniature Hershey's Kisses or chocolate chunks. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into squares.

These Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies are fantastic! Fudgy, peanut buttery, brown sugar blondies topped with a crackly, crisp sugar topping and rich, melt in your mouth Hershey Kisses. Just like the cookies but so much easier! Fudgy, peanut butter & brown sugary goodness topped with a crisp, crackly sugar topping and adorable miniature Kisses. These can’t get any better!

These Peanut Butter Blossom Blondies are fantastic! Fudgy, peanut buttery, brown sugar blondies topped with a crackly, crisp sugar topping and rich, melt in your mouth Hershey Kisses. Just like the cookies but so much easier! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Pecan Praline Blondies

These Pecan Praline Blondies are a wonderfully EASY and DECADENT recipe! Made in ONE pot (both the frosting and the blondies), they're sweet, crunchy, gooey, chewy and utterly delicious. Even if you aren’t a Southerner, you probably know what pralines are – those crisp, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth candies filled with crunchy pecans. Get that same flavor here in these addictively irresistible Pecan Praline Blondies!

So I’ve only ever had true, authentic Georgian pralines once. And it was like, the best thing ever of my LIFE.

…And I found them in the gift shop at the Atlanta airport when I had a layover there. #truth

I mean, what else do you do when you’re stranded in a Georgia airport besides read trashy gossip magazines and drink a jumbo-sized Coke Zero? Exactly.

Anyway, I bought a big ol’ bag of pralines because I needed to understand what this Southern classic dessert hype was all about. And I think I maybe arrived at my house with one or two pralines left – I seriously ate. them. ALL.

So now I need to plan a trip just to go back to the South and eat my weight in pralines. Because that’s totally something I’d do. #alsotruth

I have tried making pralines at home, but typically pralines are quite finicky and require a precise kind of climate. If it’s too humid, they may never set up. Typically, that means no pralines in the summertime, and I really loathe having Mother Nature dictate when I can and cannot have candy. You already do it to my fruits and vegetables, but damn you for preventing me from making pralines!

These Pecan Praline Blondies take the guesswork and magic spells out of making pralines. You don’t need a specific climate, you don’t need to break out your book of witchcraft and wizardry, and you don’t need to do rain dances and/or prayers to ensure it works. This recipe is that easy.

These Pecan Praline Blondies are a wonderfully EASY and DECADENT recipe! Made in ONE pot (both the frosting and the blondies), they're sweet, crunchy, gooey, chewy and utterly delicious. Not to mention, this recipe is a one-pot recipe. That’s right: a single pot is used to make both the blondie batter and the praline frosting. I win at eliminating unnecessary dishes! That’s how much I hate putting dishes away.

So break out your favorite sauce pot and preheat the oven. We’re taking a tour of the South in your mouth. Or… wait, that doesn’t sound right. Whatever. Oh look, PRALINES!!

These Pecan Praline Blondies are a wonderfully EASY and DECADENT recipe! Made in ONE pot (both the frosting and the blondies), they're sweet, crunchy, gooey, chewy and utterly delicious.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pecan Praline Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-18
 
These Pecan Praline Blondies are fantastic! Rich and sinfully sweet with crunchy pecans and loads of butter and brown sugar. A must-make!
Ingredients
  • FOR BLONDIES:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • FOR PRALINE ICING:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. To make the blondies: In a medium/large sauce pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the brown sugar until combined. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes. After it's cooled off a little, whisk in the eggs and the vanilla until combined. Lastly, whisk in the salt, baking powder and flour until a soft batter forms.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for approx. 19-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
  4. Wipe out the sauce pot and return it to the stove. To make the praline icing: Add the butter and brown sugar to the sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add in the heavy cream and bring back up to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and cool slightly, about 10-15 minutes. Once cooled off a little bit, add in the powdered sugar. Fold in the pecans.
  5. Working quickly, spread the praline icing over the blondie base in an even layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set the icing before cutting into bars.

These Pecan Praline Blondies are a wonderfully EASY and DECADENT recipe! Made in ONE pot (both the frosting and the blondies), they're sweet, crunchy, gooey, chewy and utterly delicious. I love how buttery, rich and brown sugary these blondies are! They’re the perfect dessert and one of my new favorites! A must-make for any blondie lover.

These Pecan Praline Blondies are a wonderfully EASY and DECADENT recipe! Made in ONE pot (both the frosting and the blondies), they're sweet, crunchy, gooey, chewy and utterly delicious. Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Brown Butter Espresso M&M Blondies

These Brown Butter Espresso M&M's Blondies are incredible! Such amazing flavor, rich and deep with espresso and vanilla. Sea salt on top and M&M's add a nice crunch. You'll love this easy recipe!

So I just did my taxes.

Actually, I had an accountant do my taxes because even double-digit multiplication proves to be too much for me.

And I’m sad to report that I owe money this year.

WHYYY does the IRS cramp my style?

It’s like they don’t want me to spend my hard earned money on clothes, purses and deep tissue massages. The IRS – the land of the unfashionable stiff necked people.

Anyway, it’s fine that I owe. I mean, I’d rather owe and pay it than not pay it and be a criminal by the time I’m 26. Tax evasion isn’t a good look. Well, unless you’re Theresa from the Real Housewives of New Jersey, who only served a hot minute in prison and now has her own TV show and book deal. So I guess tax evasion isn’t so bad?

Don’t worry. I’m only joking. Kind of.

Something I won’t be evading is this pan of Brown Butter Espresso M&M Blondies. They are spectacular, people. Sweet, salty, and bursting with rich, warm, aromatic vanilla and espresso powder. To make ’em extra special and gourmet, I sprinkled coarse sea salt on top just before baking to give them a wonderful crunch and salty bite. You could totally omit this if you’d like – but who denies a little extra flavor, am I right?

First y’all need to brown your butter. This is crucial if you want to call these Brown Butter Blondies. Browning your butter imparts such amazing flavor into these blondies- adding a wonderful warmth and nuttiness. Just be sure to watch your butter like a hawk, because it can go from gorgeously amber to hideously burnt in a matter of seconds. Trust.

Brown your butter all nice like, then let it cool for a sec. Once it’s cooled down a little, stir in your brown sugar. I used dark brown sugar because I wanted a really deep flavor, but light works too! Then stir in your eggs, a healthy helping of vanilla extract, some baking soda & flour, and of course – your espresso powder!

Espresso powder can be found near the coffee in most grocery stores. I use a brand called Medaglia D’Oro which has wonderful flavor. In this recipe I added two Tablespoons – but you can add more or less to suit your taste. I found that two Tablespoons was just right – not super coffee-like, but had a nice jolt.

And lastly – duh. M&M’s! I used mini M&M’s because they cover more surface area and I personally don’t like large chunks to chew through. I’ve actually never been a super fan of chunky food. Call me crazy, I already know it.

Throw on the sea salt – be liberal! Liberate yoself. Bake it until it’s nice and golden and then EAT. Please, for the love of Pete, EAT.

If the IRS accepted these blondies as a form of payment, honey, they’d be paying me!

These Brown Butter Espresso M&M's Blondies are incredible! Such amazing flavor, rich and deep with espresso and vanilla. Sea salt on top and M&M's add a nice crunch. You'll love this easy recipe!

Brown Butter Espresso M&M Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Brown Butter Espresso M&M Blondies are incredible! Rich, with wonderful deep espresso flavor, gooey chocolate M&M's and sea salt on top. A perfect sweet & salty treat!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp espresso powder (more or less to suit your taste)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & ½ cups miniature M&M's candies
  • 1-2 Tbsp sea salt, for sprinkling on top (more or less to suit your salty preferences)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally spray a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir it around occasionally, watching it constantly, as it deepens and darkens in color. The mixture will bubble up, then start to look foamy, but keep stirring and checking it until it's nutty and fragrant and a deep amber color. Once achieved, immediately remove it from the heat and cool it for about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the brown sugar until combined, then the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the espresso powder, followed by the baking soda and flour until a soft batter has formed. Stir in the M&M's candies.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the sea salt. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely before serving.

These Brown Butter Espresso M&M's Blondies are incredible! Such amazing flavor, rich and deep with espresso and vanilla. Sea salt on top and M&M's add a nice crunch. You'll love this easy recipe! These are a sweet and salty lover’s DREAM come true! I ate mine with a big cup of coffee and I highly recommend you do the same!

These Brown Butter Espresso M&M's Blondies are incredible! Such amazing flavor, rich and deep with espresso and vanilla. Sea salt on top and M&M's add a nice crunch. You'll love this easy recipe! Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies

These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies are a rich, sweet and salty dessert that's sure to please! This easy recipe comes together in minutes and has delightful pockets of rich Cadbury chocolate swirled throughout. Perfect for Easter! Can I be real with you for a sec?

I’ve tried to like Cadbury Eggs – I really have. I buy them every year, thinking that this year will be different. That, and the adorable rabbit on the package. Seriously, they could put that rabbit on a pack of cigarettes and I’d buy them – and I don’t even smoke.

But honestly? I don’t much care for the chocolate. I know, I know – don’t shoot me, please.

I can get down on that crisp candy coating. Dear lawwwd, give me a bag of candy coating shards and I will polish it off faster than you can say ‘Easter bunny.’ But the whole chocolate part? Not. So. Much.

This is probably because I grew up eating the crappiest chocolate imaginable – like the stuff the dollar store sells which is probably just brown-dyed chemicals and not chocolate at all. And then there’s Cadbury, in all its regal British glory, and little miss boxed mac & cheese over here doesn’t know what to do with the finer foods in life, so I just make up excuses about the chocolate to candy coating ratio to hide the fact that I’m a heathen.

It’s simple math, really.

Just like when I took a food & wine class in college. Okay, so it was just an awesome excuse to get loaded at 9am on a Tuesday, but don’t judge me. The class would be tasting the wine and defining the notes and aromatics and I just sat there with wine in my mouth like, “yup, tastes grape-y, like grape soda without the fizz.” Meanwhile, everyone silently judged me because no fancy person drinks grape soda. Let’s just get real – grape soda is like, the lowest on the soda totem pole. And defining a fine cabernet as “grape soda-y” was like announcing to the class that I’m poor and unrefined. And like grape soda.

BUT, I know there are classy folk out there in the world who enjoy Cadbury Eggs – and who find cabernet to be lovely and not at all soda-like. So this recipe is for YOU.

These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies are, in a word, divine. Even I enjoyed them, probably because they were buried among the most decadent blondie alive.

You start with the blondie base, which is pretty much all 2’s. Two sticks of butter, two cups of brown sugar, two eggs, 2 cups flour… then add a few 1’s: 1 Tablespoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 & 1/2 cups of chopped Cadbury Eggs. When I say ‘Cadbury Eggs’, I’m talking about those crisp miniature candy-coated eggs, not the creme-filled eggs. Just FYI.

Bake it all up with a healthy sprinkling of sea salt on top for fantastic flavor and crunch. Cut ’em into bars and serve them immediately – everyone who eats one will be impressed with your good taste. I promise.

This recipe is heathen-approved.

These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies are a rich, sweet and salty dessert that's sure to please! This easy recipe comes together in minutes and has delightful pockets of rich Cadbury chocolate swirled throughout. Perfect for Easter!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Blondies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies feature the delicious, eponymous candy in these perfectly salted, brown sugary blondies!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & ½ cups chopped Cadbury Eggs (I used a mixture of milk chocolate eggs and white chocolate eggs)
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Let stand for about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the brown sugar until combined, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and flour until a soft batter has formed. Fold in the chopped Cadbury egg candies.
  4. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the sea salt. Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, not wet, crumbs. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies are a rich, sweet and salty dessert that's sure to please! This easy recipe comes together in minutes and has delightful pockets of rich Cadbury chocolate swirled throughout. Perfect for Easter! Sweet, salty, caramel-y and chocolaty, these blondies will rock your socks off!

Be sure to pin this recipe to your favorite Easter board on Pinterest!

These Salted Cadbury Egg Blondies are a rich, sweet and salty dessert that's sure to please! This easy recipe comes together in minutes and has delightful pockets of rich Cadbury chocolate swirled throughout. Perfect for Easter!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Snickerdoodle Blondies

These Snickerdoodle Blondies are thick, chewy and soft pillows of heaven! So easy, minimal cleanup, and totally foolproof.I’m baaaaaaaaaack!

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season spent with friends, fam, and furry pals. I had an amazing holiday and mini vacay, and now I’m excited to be back and kicking off the new year with these Snickerdoodle Blondies!

But first – I have some exciting news I wanted to share with you guys.

Friends – I AM WRITING A COOKBOOK!! And I couldn’t be MORE EXCITED.

Most little girls dream of being singers or dancers, but my dream was to write a book one day. I would sit and write stories all day long, dreaming up plot ideas in my little head. Little did I know that I’d be writing not just a book, but a cookbook of all things. I’m sure little kid Hayley would be freaking out right now 🙂

It’s so surreal to me, actually. Signing the contract, sealing the envelope and delivering it to the publisher was a dream come true. And I’ve spent most of my vacation dreaming up some FABULOUS desserts for my book! I can’t tell you what they are yet, but just know that if you love this blog, you’ll love my cookbook!

And as I celebrate this momentous occasion, I have to celebrate you guys – my beloved readers. Without you, my site would not be as successful as it is and I wouldn’t have a career doing my dream job. Without your encouraging words, serious support and major love for all things sugary, I don’t know where I’d be today. So from the bottom of my butter-loving heart, thank you. I owe this all to you and I appreciate each and every one of you!

Now let’s talk about these blondies, which were promptly devoured .34873 seconds after my shoot was finished. They’re chewy, rich and buttery and packed with cinnamon flavor. I used my classic blondie base which never fails me and tastes splendid. Chock full of butter, brown sugar and vanilla flavors, baked until chewy and soft, and so versatile – you can literally throw anything in this batter and it’d be divine.

For this recipe, however, I kept it simple by adding in some ground cinnamon and topping it with cinnamon sugar. You could always throw in a couple white chocolate chips for extra texture and sweetness, but I wanted to keep these classic and they are. You guys are going to love them!

These Snickerdoodle Blondies are thick, chewy and soft pillows of heaven! So easy, minimal cleanup, and totally foolproof.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Snickerdoodle Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These Snickerdoodle Blondies are a classic! So easy, versatile, and utterly delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar (I used dark for richer flavor, but light works too!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • About ¼ cup cinnamon sugar mixture
  • Optional add-ins: nuts, white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and remove from heat, cooling for about 5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar until combined. Stir in the eggs and vanilla, then the cinnamon, baking soda and flour until a thick batter forms. Spread the batter evenly into the baking pan and sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon sugar blend.
  3. Bake for approx. 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs (not wet). Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Triple Chip Blondies

These Triple Chip Blondies are the BEST! Buttery, chewy, gooey and loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips, they're sure to please everyone's taste buds! One of my favorite stores on earth is Trader Joe’s.

I’ve talked about Trader Joe’s before, and I still feel the same way. But in case you don’t know, I love the store but I hate the clientele.

Every time I go, everyone and their mother is there shopping, so there’s never a great time to shop there. And everyone and their mother push their carts at about -58736 mph, thus always causing blockages in the aisles. And when you politely ask them to move? Chaos. Utter chaos. They act as if they’ve never been asked such an indecency in their lives.

And then there’s the whole shopping aspect. Everyone treats the products like they’re in a museum, holding up a package of frozen sweet potatoes like it’s the Mona Lisa, or staring in wonderment at a can of green beans like it’s the freakin’ second coming of Jesus. I just don’t understand what goes on in the minds of the average Trader Joe’s customer is all.

Meanwhile, I shop there on a mission: to be in and out as quickly as possible without forgetting anything. So I went yesterday and put my mission to the test, passing just barely. It was tough – they had just started handing out free samples and no one understands the concept of GRABBING YOUR FREE SAMPLE AND THEN LEAVING QUICKLY – but I made it out alive.

The parking lot, though? Whole ‘nother story.

Anywho, one of the ingredients I grabbed were Trader Joe’s chocolate chips. I like theirs a lot, and it was the inspiration for these Triple Chip Blondies. I don’t have a whole lot of blondie recipes on this blog which is a travesty since they’re my favorite dessert, so I’m fixing that ASAP with these bars. They’re gloriously studded with three different kinds of chips for a gooey, fantastically chewy bar that’s sure to please. And they couldn’t be easier to make, too.

Plus, this produces the best blondie base for any recipe. It’s chewy with a crisp top, gooey and rich, thanks to two cups of brown sugar and two sticks of butter… and a generous Tablespoon of vanilla extract. Then throw in the chips and you’ve got the most amazing bars. Trust me.

Make them!

These Triple Chip Blondies are the BEST! Buttery, chewy, gooey and loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips, they're sure to please everyone's taste buds!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Triple Chip Blondies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-24
 
These Triple Chip Blondies are incredible! If you don't like one of the chip flavors, substitute with another chip or omit completely. This base recipe is so flexible!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large microwaveable bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Lastly, stir in the baking powder, salt and flour until a soft batter forms. Stir in the three chips and spread into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for approx. 22-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with fudgy crumbs. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

These Triple Chip Blondies are the BEST! Buttery, chewy, gooey and loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and chocolate chips, they're sure to please everyone's taste buds! Loaded with butterscotch, peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips, these Triple Chip Blondies are sure to please! Don’t like a chip flavor? Omit it completely or substitute with something else… white chocolate chips, toffee bits, or even mint chips.

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Blackberry Pie Blondie Bombs

These Blackberry Pie Blondie Bombs are the bomb! Brown sugary blondies are wrapped around bits of blackberry pie and coated in rich white chocolate. The ultimate spring and summertime treat!

I’d like to preface this by saying I typically loathe blackberries with an intense passion.

(I know, right? I am weird. Newsflash of the century, really).

This probably has to do with the fact that I am pretty sure they are the berries I stuffed my face with in my freshman year of high school from the mystery bush that protruded from a backyard onto the field where we had P.E. I remember feeling very strange after that, so maybe they weren’t blackberries after all but instead some strange hallucinogenic berry I consumed. Or poison.

ANYWHO.

And then there’s the fact that I had this ex boyfriend who like, loved blackberries. He always talked about going blackberry picking in Washington and bought handfuls of pints at Trader Joe’s. Because I really liked him, I tried to really like blackberries. I mean, tried as hard as I tried to like going to the gym (which he also liked to do), tried to like wearing tank tops (which I feel only enhance my broad shoulders), and tried to like getting pedicures (which he didn’t like to do, but I feel so weird about doing for some unknown reason).

Shocker of the year? It didn’t work. I never could get there mentally. So I threw out all my tank tops and gave up liking blackberries. C’est la vie.

But, since I like YOU and you probably like blackberries (as most of the population does), I decided to make YOU these blondie bombs bursting with blackberry goodness. Note that these are actual blackberries, not mystery fruit from your high school’s track field. This is an important factor here.

These Blackberry Pie Blondie Bombs are the bomb! Brown sugary blondies are wrapped around bits of blackberry pie and coated in rich white chocolate. The ultimate spring and summertime treat! These Blackberry Pie Blondie Bombs start off like this: a fudgy, brown sugary blondie is wrapped around a teensy piece of crisp and juicy blackberry pie. Then the whole thing is dunked under a blanket of white chocolate and adorned with a single blackberry. Simple, beautiful, and scrumptious. And? I liked them. I actually liked them. Probably because it involved pie, but whatever. I liked them. Tank tops? Still no. Gym? HA.

For these bombs, I used those simple $1 handpies you can find at any supermarket or convenience store – you know the ones in the crinkly paper wrapper. You can use any fruit-based pie you’d like and I’m particularly drawn to the idea of using apple or cherry, but for this I used a mixed berry which tastes more blackberry-ish than anything else. Again, any fruit filling will work. Leave the chocolate and banana cream for yourself for now, save the fruity stuff for bombing later.

Also? The verb ‘bombing’ totally works here since we’re making blondie bombs. In case you were wondering.

Bombs away, my blackberry friends!

These Blackberry Pie Blondie Bombs are the bomb! Brown sugary blondies are wrapped around bits of blackberry pie and coated in rich white chocolate. The ultimate spring and summertime treat!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Blackberry Pie Blondie Bombs
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownie Bombs
Serves: 15
 
These Blackberry Pie Blondie Bombs are such a fun summertime treat! Loaded with buttery, brown sugar-laced blondies, crisp and juicy blackberry pie and white chocolate, they're perfect for any occasion. Feel free to replace the berry pie with another fruit-flavored pie of your choice.
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar (I used dark, but either works)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 & ½ mixed berry hand pies (or another fruit-flavored hand pie of your choice)
  • 1 pkg Vanilla CandiQuik
  • 15 blackberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar to combine. Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Lastly, add in the flour and pinch of salt until a thick batter has formed.
  2. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  3. While blondies cool, prepare your pies. Cut each hand pie into 6 equal pieces so you have a total of 18. You'll only need 15 for this, so eat the extra three 🙂 Place them on a foil-lined baking sheet and freeze until completely solid.
  4. Cut each blondie into about 1-2" square. Flatten it in the palm of your hand and wrap it around a frozen pie piece, rolling it in your hand to pinch the blondies around the pie to seal it. Return to the baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  5. Melt the CandiQuik according to package directions. Drop each bomb into the melted white chocolate and coat completely, allowing excess to drip off. Return to the baking sheet and immediately garnish with a blackberry. Bombs can be stored in the fridge (with berries on top) for 2 days or room temperature for up to 1 day.

These Blackberry Pie Blondie Bombs are the bomb! Brown sugary blondies are wrapped around bits of blackberry pie and coated in rich white chocolate. The ultimate spring and summertime treat! These are so fruity, sweet and perfectly spiced from the buttery blondies, the crisp pie crust and the juicy brightness of the blackberries. You could also drizzle these with chocolate for a prettier look and for a contrast in flavor and color.

These Blackberry Pie Blondie Bombs are the bomb! Brown sugary blondies are wrapped around bits of blackberry pie and coated in rich white chocolate. The ultimate spring and summertime treat! Hope you have a sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

 

Apple Fritter Blondies {Apple Fritter Week!!}

applefritterblondiesBlondies. Is there anything they can’t do?

Okay, maybe there are some things. But mostly, they’re my favorite food and are perfect in my eyes. Salty, sweet, brown-sugary. Buttery. Chewy. Fan-freaking-tastic. And these blondies in particular are even cooler than your standard blondie since they’re studded with soft, tender caramelized apples and topped with a crunchy apple cider glaze.

In short: they’re my new favorite. And they’re pretty irresistible.

#AppleFritterWeek has now come to a close and I couldn’t think of a better, apple-frittery recipe to close it off on a high note than these blondies. And assuming you race home and try them ASAP, I think you’ll agree!

DSC_0907A

5.0 from 2 reviews
Apple Fritter Blondies {Apple Fritter Week!!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Blondies, Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Soft and chewy brown sugary blondies are loaded up with tender, caramelized apples for an Apple Fritter Blondie that's sure to impress!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 Tbsp
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar, plus ¼ cup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch salt
  • 2-3 smaller Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp apple cider
  • Splash hot water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Toss in the 2 Tbsp butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and the apples and saute for about 2-3 minutes or until tender, but not quite soft. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar. Gently stream in the eggs, whisking constantly so as not to scramble them, and the vanilla. Stir in the baking soda, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until a soft batter has formed. Fold in the apples and their juices.
  3. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden and appears set. Do not over-bake past the 25-minute mark as the bars will continue to cook as they cool. Cool the bars completely before glazing.
  4. To make the glaze, in a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, hot water and apple cider until glaze is pourable. Pour over the top of the blondies and allow it to set before cutting into squares.

DSC_0910ASigh. And they say nothing’s perfect 🙂

I hope you guys have enjoyed Apple Fritter Week as much as I have!! Thanks so much, and have a great weekend!! <3

xo, Hayley