A delicious mix of white chocolate, almonds, and dried cherries in a sturdy, almond-tinged blondie. I make these for open-house type parties and cookie exchanges all the time. (From the fabulous, but sadly out-of-print Williams-Sonoma Chocolate Cookbook, Lora Brody, p. 59)
2¼ cup all purpose flour, sifted before measuring
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
⅔ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1½ tsp almond extract
1 cup dried cherries
9 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped (or chips)
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Sift together the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Place the butter and both sugars in a large bowl. Using a whisk or an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until light and fluffy about 5 minutes with a whisk or 2-3 minutes with a mixer.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the almond extract. Add the flour mixture and carefully beat until just thoroughly combined.
Stir in the cherries, white chocolate and almonds. Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared dish, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake until the top is golden and the edges have just started to pull away from the sides, 35-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, then cut into bars. Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to 1 week.