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In Memory of Jane Russell: Gentlemen Prefer Blondies

Screen legend Jane Russell, perhaps best known for her starring role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and as a pinup girl (with Rita Hayworth, Jayne Mansfield, Ava Gardner and Lauren Bacall) during World War II, passed away of respiratory failure on Monday at the age of 89. She was beautiful and dark-haired, and because the contrast between blonde and brunette reminds me of the black and white cookie or blondie vs. brownie battle, I thought I’d share my favorite blondie recipe in honor of her best-known film. In the kitchen, brownies almost always win out – but when you bite into a soft, chewy blondie, you’ll wonder why. (While you’re baking, watch the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes trailer below!)

Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Blondies

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar; mix until no lumps remain. Add egg whites and vanilla; stir until well blended and smooth.

Add flour, baking powder and salt. Stir just until the dough begins to come together. Add cranberries and white chocolate and stir just until combined.

Pour batter into an 8″x8″ pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Makes 16 blondies.

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