I’m a fan of easy-to-bake bars during the holiday season, when there’s plenty of baking to do, but far less time. Large batches of bars and squares are easy to mix and bake, then cut or freeze to have on hand for surprise visitors. These dense pecan chocolate chip ginger blondies have the flavour of a molasses ginger cookie with the texture of a blondie – a brownie’s lesser-known but equally delicious cousin. A pan of ginger blondies is perfect to serve warm from the oven with hot chocolate after a chilly day of skiing, skating or tobogganing.
Bars like brownies and blondies are also perfect for cookie exchanges – bake them in aluminum baking pans from the dollar store, wrapped in cellophane and ribbon.
Pecan Chocolate Chip Ginger Blondies
Adapted from Martha Stewart‘s iced hermits.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9″x13″ pan with nonstick spray or rub it with soft butter. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt and allspice in a medium bowl; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and molasses. Reduce speed to low; gradually blend in flour mixture. Add the chocolate chips and pecans.
Spread the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, until golden and set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Makes about 2 dozen squares or bars.