Drunken Cranberry & Chocolate Chip Bars (Makes 24 bars)
- ½ cup butter, melted (1 stick)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 teasp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teasp salt, optional
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3 Tbsp Grand Marnier
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 60 seconds.
- To the melted butter, add the brown sugar and stir to combine.
- Add the egg, vanilla, and stir to combine.
- Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over mix or the blondies will be tough.
- Fold in chocolate chips, cranberries, and pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary.
- Bake for 27 to 32 minutes, or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan and center is set.
- Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into bars and serving.
- Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
I also love the combination of chocolate and dried fruit. The bars are easy and adaptable for substitutions and variations. Try other fruit combinations like cherries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, peaches; fresh or frozen (if using frozen fruit, don’t bother thawing; stir it in frozen or it will “bleed” into the batter; baking time is not noticeably effected using frozen fruit). Baking time will vary based on types of fruit used, fresh, frozen, and the moisture content of the fruit; and how gooey you like your bars. A toothpick inserted into the middle may not come out clean due to the chocolate chips or juicy fruit. Also try M&Ms, white chocolate chips, toffee bits, coconut flakes, or macadamia nuts.