I like an apple cake as much as the next girl (two favorites are Amy’s Bissel Apple Cake and this Cornmeal Apple Upside Down Cake) but there are two nights of Rosh Hashanah, and once I’ve got my apple cake craving taken care of, I need something else. Enter these blondies. Though blondies might not seem quite fancy enough for a big holiday meal, trust me that these will blow your hair back, and can be gussied up into something truly stunning to look at, and downright delectable to eat.
The only specialty item called for here is pomegranate molasses, which you can almost certainly find at your local Middle Eastern food store, or you can buy it online here. I love to drizzle some pomegranate molasses over my yogurt and granola in the morning, and it’s also good as an ice cream topping.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¾ cups brown sugar
¾ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup pomegranate seeds
⅓ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper, and spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the pomegranate molasses and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the dates, pomegranate seeds, and pecans if including.
Pour the batter into the lined pan. It will be a very thick batter--smooth out the top with a butter knife. Bake until top is golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.
When blondies are completely cool (I let them sit, covered, overnight) remove from pan, and if you want a round dessert, use a biscuit cutter or the edge of a juice glass to cut circles out of the blondies. Serve topped with ice cream, and drizzled with a tiny bit of pomegranate molasses. Follow with a sweet and wonderful new year.
MyJewishLearning’s recipes connect people across generations. When Brenda encountered our recipe for Plumkuchen, or plum cake, she relayed an amazing story: “The woman who taught me this recipe was a survivor of Auschwitz and told me that every Rosh Hashanah her mother, who perished in the Holocaust, would make this cake from their family’s plum tree. I have since baked this cake every New Year in her memory and for those who have no one to remember them.”
We’re particularly proud when MyJewishLearning’s recipes help people revive family traditions, as was the case with Beatrice, when she discovered our recipe for meat kreplach. “You seem to have been in my mother’s kitchen. The picture and the description of how to make it reminded me of her doing exactly that on the kitchen table when I was a child. I think I’m going to make them for the first time in my life.”
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Each year the holiday season brings joy, stress, and increased eating as we get overloaded with Thanksgiving leftovers, and shlep from family dinners to other eating-centric, obligatory gatherings. And what – we’re supposed to just sip seltzer water in the corner!?
I don’t enjoy having to watch what I eat, or reducing the amount of butter (or oil) I cook with, but I do like quality recipes that don’t sacrifice on flavor. I have put together a few of my favorites, but more importantly, I want to hear about yours.
For our November cookbook giveaway, we want to hear about your favorite, lightened-up dishes! Post your recipes below and the most interesting, holiday-themed (lite) recipe will win a copy of Susie Fishbein’s Kosher By Design Lightens Up. I am counting on your creativity to help us all get through this holiday season without having to buy a new wardrobe!
Nosher-recommended lighter side recipes:
Crispy Baked ‘Fried’ Chicken (you can use soymilk with 1 Tablespoon of vinegar where this recipe calls for buttermilk)