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Tis the season for nostalgic baking.
Now that we’ve officially traded in our lightweight sweaters for puffers and toques, it’s the time to turn your oven on and lean into spiced desserts that warm you up with flavor alone. If you ask me, gingerbread is the perfect vehicle to get all your cozy spices in one place.
Decorating gingerbread people hits in a special, nostalgic kind of way – and these gingerbread blondies give you that same memory-laden flavor without all the labor. Throw them in the oven and let them bake while you sip something festive and watch Home Alone for the, well, hundredth time. No judgment, I'm doing the exact same thing.
½ cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses (not blackstrap)
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
2-inch chunk ginger*
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice or cloves
½ tsp powdered ginger
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F
Prepare an 8×8 baking pan. You can either butter the entire pan or line with parchment. Any exposed sides should be buttered.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, brown the butter until it smells nutty and you see small flecks of toasted milk fat. you've going to want to keep an eye on this because butter will go from foamy to browned very quickly.
Immediately pour the butter into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool (we don’t want scrambled eggs!) Once cool enough to handle, add the brown sugar and molasses and mix to combine. Add the egg, salt, vanilla and all of the spices.
Using the finest grater you have (ideally a microplane) grate the fresh ginger into the mixture.
Mix in the flour until the batter just comes together, making sure not to over mix. Fold in the white chocolate chips.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the edges are golden. Let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes and then remove and finish cooling on a rack.
* I like to peel my ginger and then freeze it before grating it. It makes it a lot easier to handle and ginger can stay fresh for a long time in the freezer.
* If you've in a rush you don't have to brown your butter, but I can vouch for the nutty – almost caramel – flavour that it lends to these blondies. It's worth the extra time. If you've not browning, still make sure to melt the butter.
* I like my blondies how I like my brownies: dense and chewy. If you prefer them more cake-like, add a 1/2 tsp of baking powder when you add the flour.