Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cake of the Week: Chai Spiced Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting

It can take me a while to warm up to people. New co-workers especially -- I’m nice to everyone, but I take friendship seriously and it is not guaranteed. (I guess that means I’m some combination of introvert, curmudgeon, and change-resistant? Though I prefer to think of myself as selective…)  At both organizations I’ve worked at, people come and go constantly -- interns, staff, people leaving for grad school, going abroad, or returning from either of the two.  This revolving-door style of workplace ensures that office space is a series of musical chairs, and I just can’t muster the energy to become friends with everyone. 

Last week though, our most recent new hire was someone I’d already gotten to know and like during her internship last fall. Instead of ugghhh I need to get used to a new person, I thought YAY Carrine is back! So, as I do for people I like, I baked her a treat!

These Chai Spiced Blondies were very well-received by the entire Comms team. Baked goods = job security. I’m serious.  

I’m also serious about how easy and delicious these are. There’s no actual chai in the recipe, just the spices that make chai delicious. These blondies are not excessively sweet, and my version has half the butter than the recipe I used as inspiration, making my version a cross between cookie-ish and cake-ish bars.These are great for fall -- spicy and yummy and delicious with a hot cup of coffee -- you must make them!

Chai Spiced Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Blondie Ingredients:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup water
Frosting Ingredients:
  • ½ stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
  • ½ block (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350*.Grease and flour a 9x9-inch baking pan. (You can also line it with parchment paper to make them even easier to get out.)
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add in eggs and vanilla and beat again until smooth.
  3. Add in dry ingredients and stir until partly mixed in. Add in water, and finish mixing until the batter is completely incorporated.
  4. Spread batter in pan and bake until the sides begin to pull away and a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Do not frost until blondies are completely cool.
For the Frosting:
  1. Beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, adding milk as needed to reach a spreadable/glaze-y consistency.
  2. Spread over blondies and enjoy! 

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