I possibly over do it with my favorite ingredients. I find myself adding hazelnuts and sun-dried cherries to just about anything I bake. Every summer I pick up at least one bag of sun-dried cherries from the local farmers market and throughout the year I pick a few special recipes to incorporate the cherries into. These brown butter bars could be really good just by themselves but are even better with the addition of hazelnuts and dried cherries.
Here are a few other recipes that include hazelnuts and/or dried cherries: my favorite granola recipe, hazelnut and cherry muesli, oatmeal cookies with dried cherries, hazelnut marzipan cake, Peach Crisp with Hazelnut Topping, and I almost always throw some dried-cherries when I make risotto.
What are some of your go to ingredients?
- 1/2 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup sun-dried cherries
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2.5 sticks of butter (1 and 1/4 cups)
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 9 x 13-inch pan. Line with parchment, letting the edges overhang making a parchment sling. Butter lining and set aside.
- Roughly chop the hazelnuts and toast them in the oven for 5 minutes or until fragrant. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the nuts.
- In a large bowl add flour, baking powder and salt and mix to combine.
- In a small saute or sauce pan, over low heat, cook the butter until light brown and gives off a nutty aroma, about 6 minutes. Remove pan from the heat, and let cool.
- In a mixer, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar with cooled butter. Mix on low to combine. Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients in 2 batches and mix until just incorporated. Stir in hazelnuts and dried-cherries.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared baking dish. Bake for about 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out either clean or with crumbs…not batter. If using parchment paper, gently lift blondies out of baking dish or pan and let cool on a wire rack. When cool, cut into squares (these are much easier to cut when they are cooled but they are also pretty tasty when they're warm... you choose!).
adapted from the Essence of Baking and The Red Spoon Blog