Monday, December 24, 2012

Chocolate Shortbread Blondies with Macaroon Topping

 Merry Christmas!!

Are you excited?

We sure are at this house, well most of the time anyway.  One thing I have learned with children is that you have to keep them completely distracted on Christmas Eve, otherwise you are in for a very, very, LONG day.

Why, you might ask.

Because they can't wait for morning.

It just goes better, and everyone stays happy.  So we are off to go sledding in the mountains, eating pizza with friends, and having a gift exchange.

The kids are so excited, surprise!

Chocolate Shortbread Blondies with Macaroon Topping

(click here for printable version)

3 1/2 cups flour, divided
2/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 2/3 cups butter, cold
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup salted peanuts or cashews, chopped (optional)

Macaroon Topping:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil, leaving enough to overlap at the ends. Lightly spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar and cocoa powder. Cut 1 cup (2 sticks)  butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in chocolate chips. Press the mixture into the foil-lined pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the crust is set. While the crust is baking, prepare the macaroon topping.

3. To make the macaroon topping, in a medium bowl, stir together sugar and flour. Add coconut, eggs and vanilla. Mix until combined.  Set aside.

4. In a medium saucepan, add brown sugar and remaining 2/3 cup butter. Stir and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly (about 10 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just combined. Whisk in vanilla, remaining 2 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda and peanuts or cashews (if using).

5. Spread the batter evenly over baked crust. Then carefully spoon macaroon topping over the batter in small spoonfulls, smoothing to the edges of the pan. Bake for 35-38 minutes or until the topping is slightly brown and bars are set in the middle. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Using the foil, lift out of the pan and cut into bars. Store leftovers in refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Source: Bailey Bakes
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