All this running around only adds to the Christmas atmosphere, in my humble opinion. But it’s not the holidays without holiday-themed cookies.
For the past twenty years, my mother has hosted an annual cookie exchange with all of her friends. If you’ve known my mother for any number of months, you’d get invited to her cookie exchange. Despite being the name of the party, baking 7 dozen of the same cookie is not required—just the white elephant gift exchange, which is the real life of the party. By no prompting of my mother, it’s generally understood that the nicer the present looks, the worse the contents will be. It’s the best part of the night and has spawned a lot of inside jokes, one of which involved an inappropriate pillow that would get secretly left behind at various houses throughout the year in an attempt to get rid of it. (Last I heard, the pillow made its way to Connecticut somehow and hasn’t been seen for maybe a year. Or so we think).
If you ask me which holiday tradition is a sign of the holidays, I’ll say my mom’s cookie exchange.
Mom’s cookie exchange was such a mainstay of my childhood that I decided to implement my own version. This year marks the second iteration of my cookie exchange, and it went off without a hitch at the beginning of the month!
So, in honor of cookie-related holiday traditions, Rubi Reds kindly shared the following recipe to enjoy with your preferred holiday tradition.
Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies
- ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- ¾ c. Rubi Reds Sweetened Dried Cranberries
- 1-2 Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge chocolate bars, broken into chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Melt butter, let cool slightly and add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon. Whisk until smooth.
Add flour and stir until just combined. Don’t over mix. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips.
Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
Bake about 24 to 26 minutes or until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean (as long as you’re not hitting chocolate).
Allow blondies to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.
Blondies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to one week, or freeze for up to six months.
Share your favorite holiday tradition in the comments!