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White Chocolate and Almond Blondies

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It’s the height of strawberry season and everywhere you look in the market you will see baskets and bags brimming with ripe, red, ready-to-be-devoured berries. Strawberry shortcake is, of course, the quintessential strawberry dessert of late spring/early summer, but personally, I have always found it to be a bit disappointing. For me, the biscuit-type short cake of the classic dessert leaves much to be desired, so when the season hits and strawberries are bountiful and my taste buds yearn for something strawberry shortcake inspired, I look for other alternatives.Despite it’s classic combination, I am actually not a huge fan of strawberries and chocolate, so chocolate cake is out of the question, as are brownies. But Brownie’s fairer cousin, Blondie does the trick. This white chocolate and almond blondies recipe is an adaptation of a Martha Stewart recipe for Blondies with chocolate chips and walnuts.

 

 

I’ve swapped the chocolate for white chocolate and the walnuts for almonds. You could really use any combination of add-ins, but I particularly like the interaction of the intensely sweet white chocolate with the caramel flavour of the blondie and the roasty-toastiness of the almonds. The addition of juicy berries and whipped cream to top it all off makes this an indulgent and delicious seasonal dessert. Enjoy!

 

White Chocolate Blondies with Almonds

makes 16 two inch blondies

1/2 a cup of melted, salted butter

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 a teaspoon of almond extract

1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 of a cup of white chocolate chips or chunks

1 cup of chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the  pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides (this makes “handles” so you can lift the cooled blondies out of the pan).  Butter or spray the paper too.

In your mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both kinds of sugar until smooth.  Add the egg, almond extract and vanilla. Add the flour and mix just until its all moist and just barely brought together.  Fold in the white chocolate and almonds.

Spread mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean about 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

While the blondies cool, prepare the strawberries and cream.

Hull and slice strawberries. Aim for 4-6 strawberries per person. For 4 servings, (24 strawberries) stir the sliced berries with 1/2  a tsp. of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla until juicy, about 20-30 mins. Serve with unsweetened whipped cream.

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