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Muffin Tin Cranberry-Pecan Blondies

Course: Dessert
Keyword: cookie exchange, cookies, party food, sweets
Servings: 16 to 20
Author: Suzanne Cowden


  • Sugared Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • Blondies
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecan halves coarsely chopped
  • Cranberry Buttercream
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened but still cool
  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • To prepare the sugared cranberries, combine 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Turn off heat and add cranberries, stirring well to coat them with syrup. Transfer cranberries to a wire rack and let dry for about an hour. They will feel dry but tacky. Working in small batches, roll the cranberries in the remaining sugar. Let them dry for another hour to set the sugary coating.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F for the blondies. Grease 24 wells in standard-size muffin pans.
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and salt, stirring to combine.
  • Remove the mixture from heat and stir in egg and vanilla extract, mixing well. Add baking powder and baking soda, stirring until combined. Add flour and stir until just combined. Mix in dried cranberries and pecans. The batter will be quite thick.
  • Divide mixture between the prepared muffin pans and bake until just set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Place pan on rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove blondies from the pan with a thin spatula or with skewers.
  • For the buttercream, combine cranberries and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, simmering until the mixture bubbles thickly and takes on the consistency of tomato paste.
  • Transfer the cranberries to a fine mesh sieve and press on the mixture with a silicone spatula to separate out the skin and seeds. The remaining mixture should measure about 1/4 cup. Let cool to room temperature.
  • In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine butter, 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar, the cranberry puree, and vanilla. Mix slowly with the paddle attachment to combine. Add another cup of confectioners' sugar and mix until incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until smooth. Add additional powdered sugar, as needed, to achieve a smooth, creamy consistency.
  • Pipe frosting on cooled blondies or spread it on generously with a thin, flexible spatula. Garnish with sugared cranberries.