Hot cross blondies

Makes 16
50 minutes

Ingredients

Blondies

  • 50g of candied peel
  • 50g of sultanas
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 160g of butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g of white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 200g of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 165g of light brown sugar
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the crosses

  • 3 tbsp of plain flour, white
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Method

1
In a small bowl, combine the candied peel, sultanas, orange juice and zest and leave to soak for 1 hour
2
Preheat the oven 180°C/gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 22cm square tin with butter and line with baking parchment
3
In a small saucepan, melt the butter then continue cooking until the milk solids are toasted and the butter is lightly golden and nutty smelling. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then stir in 100g white chocolate until melted and smooth
4
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and mixed spice
5
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars and vanilla until pale and light, then whisk in the cooled butter-chocolate mixture
6
Fold in the flour, followed by the soaked fruit and remaining white chocolate then scrape the mixture into your prepared tin
7
To make your crosses, whisk together the flour, 2–3 tbsp of water and the almond extract in a small bowl until you have a thick paste. Spoon or pipe a lattice across the top of your blondie mixture
8
Bake the blondies for 24–30 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and fudgy and dense in the middle. You’re aiming for a brownie, rather than a cake-like texture, so a skewer inserted in the middle will come out slightly sticky
9
Allow the blondies to cool completely then remove from the tin and slice into 16 squares. For neater edges, pop the cooled slab in the fridge to firm up for 1 hour before slicing
10
Blondies will keep in an airtight container for 3–4 days and also freeze well for up to 1 month