Showing posts with label dried fruit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dried fruit. Show all posts

Friday, April 21, 2017

Patriots' Day Blondies

Because it was pouring buckets and spitting snow on our regular marketing day, we stayed inside. There’s always some sort of meal we can throw together from what’s in the fridge and pantry. But! there was nothing for dessert, a crisis of epic proportions. So I had to bake.

But I was kind of low on butter, and I didn’t feel like messing with anything fancy, so I went looking for a bar cookies. Lo and behold, the model for this recipe was the first page in the cookie section of my bursting binder of recipes—something I found online in 2008, but had never made.

One small problem: it called for dried cranberries, and I had none. But I did have dried blueberries and dried cherries, and then I realized that with the white chocolate chips (that I did have), I was making red, white and blue bars. I figured I could call it an homage to Patriots’ Day here in Massachusetts.

Daniel Chester French's
Minuteman Statue, near
the bridge where the battle
took place
In case you are completely ignorant of Patriots’ Day (no surprise, because few states celebrate it), it commemorates the battle of Lexington and Concord, which took place on April 19, 1775 (you could argue it started on the 18th, which is when Paul Revere’s famous ride took place, but the fighting started on the next day). Nowadays it’s held on the third Monday in April. (Yes, I had an ancestor or three there, and there was that other one, celebrated in family lore, who said “sorry, I need to get this field plowed,” and missed the whole thing.)

Patriots’ Day Bars

3/4 cup butter, cubed
1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
3/4 tsp vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried fruit, coarsely chopped if needed
(blueberries didn’t, cherries did)

Dried blueberries

Dried cherries

One important note: dried fruit works better in a bar cookie or bread (like Irish soda bread, which is where I learned this trick) if you soak it in boiling water for a couple of minutes first. Make sure to drain the fruit well before adding to the batter.

6 oz white chocolate bits (or chunks, chopped)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13x2 inch pan.

Melt the butter in a bowl. Stir in the brown sugar.

Transfer to a larger bowl (if you're using a stand mixer, the bowl for that will do) and let cool. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Sift together the dry ingredients, and add gradually to the butter mixture.

Stir in the fruit and the chocolate bits. (The batter will be stiff.)

Spread in the greased baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clear (do not overbake!). Cool in the pan on a rack.

And enjoy!

My next book will be A Late Frost, the 11th book in the Orchard Mystery series, coming from Berkley in November (yes, a long time to wait!). 

It takes place in February--you know, that month where everybody in Massachusetts is ready for spring but they know that won't happen for a couple of months yet. So the town of Granford decides to start a new tradition: the WinterFare. 

Which turns out really well--until one of the organizers dies.

I'll be telling you more about it over the next few months.

And be sure to enjoy my newly polished website!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Honey of a Good Time

This is a week where
is in order.

I've got deadlines, conferences, and lots of family events. I love to be busy. But sometimes if I'm THIS busy, I need to find ways to breathe!!!

So in honor of breathing and simplicity, let me share one of my favorite ways to enjoy cheese
-- serve it with jam and honey and nuts and dried fruits. Yes, honey and jam! Cheese laced with a sweet is fabulous!

Think mini crisp cheesecakes!

You create little morsels that make every cheese-y bite a new experience.

[Hint: There is no specific recipe in this particular blog. You are the inventor. Look in your refrigerator. Be creative. I pulled out a jar of my stepsister's homemade jam, one of my favorite honeys -- good for antioxidants -- and a nice pungent cheese. I added some banana chips and pecans. Oh, yeah!]

Add a glass of wine. And YUMMMMMMM!

So, for those of you who might be overworked, over-scheduled, or just over anything...

Raid your refrigerator.

Then take a moment for yourself.

Sit on the porch.

Drink in the sounds of the wind or rain or whatever weather is coming your way.

Eat something delicious.

Think of something that makes you smile.

And breathe. [It's the gift of life!]

In other news...

The winner of our Cookie Cutter contest is
Danica Rice!
Wahoo, Danica! Hope you enjoy making delicious cookies.

Also, our very own Jenn just had a new book released. Sprinkle with Murder is in bookstores near you!

And don't forget Jenn's cupcake contest! If you’d like to win cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop, send us an e-mail at or a comment with your idea of the wackiest cupcake ingredients you can think of.

What's not in the news but something that's free?
On my website, I offer tips or recipes, newsletters, pictures, inspirational quotes, and my favorite cheese of the moment. Check it all out by clicking this link