In a season of cookies, pies, and the occasional cake, I often find myself thinking about and reaching for dessert bars. I’m not sure why I can’t just be agreeable and find satisfaction in typical holiday treats, but I can’t. I can’t! And you can’t make me!
While we’re busy bucking holiday dessert tradition, we might as well go big, right? So instead of making something complex and super-sophisticated that requires every single vessel, tool, and piece of machinery in our kitchen, let’s just use one bowl.
One quick turn of our food processor.
So unfestive! It’s not the holiday season unless we’re stressing the sugar out of ourselves, right? Dirtying dishes! Creating chores, work, and extra trouble! I mean, seriously, what will we have to complain about?
Oh, right. That there aren’t enough of these Chocolate & Chile-Crusted Beer Blondies. Just one little, little 9″ x 9″ pan. That stinks!
I’m sorry that I’ve failed you so miserably today. I’m sorry that you don’t have enough dirty dishes to slave over or enough dessert bars to enjoy. Can we kiss and make up tomorrow when I offer you the recipe for a 10-foot holiday croquembouche that you need to gild on your own after mining the gold dust with which to do said gilding?
OK. In the interim, please prepare yourself a pan of these Chocolate & Chile-Crusted Beer Blondies, take off your shoes, put up your feet, throw on a holiday ditty, and enjoy. You deserve it. I said so!
- For the crust:
- 1 sleeve graham crackers (9 whole crackers)
- 1 disk (3.15 ounces) Mexican chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile
- For the blondies:
- 3 large eggs
- 1 c. beer (Note that I used a light Mexican beer here, but you can substitute any light beer you have on hand.)
- ¾ c. unsalted butter, melted (Note that your butter should be melted but not so hot that it cooks your eggs; I recommend setting melted butter aside to cool slightly before incorporating it into this batter.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 c. white sugar, granulated
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a 9″ square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- To prepare the crust, break graham crackers into large pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the Mexican chocolate pieces, melted butter, and ancho chile. Process the ingredients until they are the consistency of wet sand. Press firmly into the bottom of your prepared pan and set aside.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together in a large bowl. Whisk in the beer, melted butter and vanilla. Whisk in the sugar, salt, and then the flour, mixing just until you have uniform, smooth batter. Pour over the crust and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the blondies comes out clean. Note that these dense, pound cake-like blondies do actually take just over an hour to bake through; you can start checking for doneness after 50 minutes of baking, but they will likely take the full hour plus to set. Remove baked blondies and set aside to cool before unmolding, slicing and serving.
So you’ve enjoyed some green bean casserole (extra fried onions on top), some stuffing (extra sausage mixed in), and some pie (extra pastry crust underneath)… let’s share a big bowl of butter!
I jest. Let’s instead do our cholesterols a favor and enjoy a refreshing Warm Winter Spice Salad made with hearty quinoa, satisfying hominy, and a flavorful array of spices and seasonings.
You’re welcome, cholesterols!
If you’re not familiar with hominy, I think you’re going to appreciate the introduction: it’s the whole version of the treated corn that is ground into what you know as masa harina. Masa harina is, of course, the corn-based flour that is used to produce the masa, or dough, that we use to make tamales, sopes, huaraches and our very favorite, corn tortillas. Now you’re a hominy expert and you have something to talk about at your next holiday cocktail party other than Kimye’s recent sound bite.
Have you heard?
You’re going to have some leftover turkey to contend with in the next couple of days.
Turkey to make sandwiches out of.
Turkey to put into soup.
Turkey to roll up and use as a scrunchie for your hair.
Lots and lots of turkey!
I personally am not the biggest turkey fan as I find it to be somewhat flavorless. Which is precisely why, after my sandwiches are made, my soup it stirred, and my hair is done did, I spin my leftover turkey into as much spicy, seasoned goodness as I can dream up.
So… spicy loaded totchos!