Think of these Christmas blondies as chewy fruit cake in small doses. Made with roasted walnuts and candied fruit peel soaked in cherry brandy.
You get a subtle burst of juices from the candied peel and the contrasting crunch from the walnuts with each bite. Speedy couldn’t get enough of them. In fact, he was already eating the blondies while I was still cutting the cookie slab into squares.
If you’re planning on serving these blondies to kids, omit the soaking part and increase the amount of grated orange zest. Or, you can combine orange zest with lemon or lime zest.
- 4 cup mixed candied fruit peel the kind used for baking fruit cakes; available in some supermarkets
- 4 tablespoons cherry brandy rum or regular brandy will also do
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cup butter at room temperature
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 large whole eggs
- 4 cup roasted chopped walnut
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- grated zest of two oranges
- Place the fruit peel in a shallow bowl. Add the brandy or rum. Stir. Leave to soak for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line a 7? x 11? baking pan with baking paper.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, orange zest and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
- Add the flour mixture in three batches, mixing after each addition.
- Drain the fruit peel.
- Fold the fruit peel and nuts into the batter.
- Pour into the prepared pan, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl. Smoothen the top for even thickness.
- Bake at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool some more.
- Cut into two-inch squares.
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