Jane’s Sweets & Baking Journal -- janessweets.blogspot.com -- September 2012
(This is an original recipe, which I adapted from another original recipe in my own blog. That recipe, for “Cream Cheese Blondies with Milk and Dark Chocolate Chips and Honey Roasted Almonds,” can be found at this link: http://janessweets.blogspot.com/2009/08/cream-cheese-blondies-with-milk-and.html)
Apple Cinnamon Blondies
Yield: One 9" by 13" pan; about 24 servings
Line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper; let the paper overhang the sides by a couple of inches so you can use it to lift the cooled blondies from the pan. (If you then spray the parchment with vegetable spray you'll have no trouble whatsoever getting them out of the pan intact. I recommend doing so!)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups of dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs
1 and 1/4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or 1 and ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (I used coarse kosher salt.)
1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tart, firm medium-sized apple; peeled and chopped into very small pieces ( about 1/4" square)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a medium size bowl, lightly whisk together the flour, salt, and cinnamon.
In a small bowl, toss the apple bits with the lemon juice.
In the large bowl of your mixer, using the paddle attachment on medium-low speed, cream the butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar until very well blended and smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla bean paste, beating on medium speed until well combined and smooth.
Gradually add in the flour mixture on the lowest speed, beating just until blended. Add in the apple pieces, beating just until evenly combined.
Use a small offset metal-spatula or the back of a large spoon to spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Mix together the 1 tablespoon granulated sugar with the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and sprinkle it all over the batter.
Bake the blondies for about 25 minutes, until they start to look lightly golden brown and a finger pressed lightly on the top of the blondies doesn't leave an impression. Let them cool in their pan, placed on a cooling rack, for at least twenty minutes before trying to lift them out by the parchment handles. Cut them with a really sharp knife. Store them well covered and they'll be good for a couple of days or more.