Daniel Orr loved the blondies his mother, Mary Lu Orr, baked when he was growing up in Columbus, Indiana. "She was always taking fun recipes and trying to make them healthy," he recalls. Here, inspired by her, Orr folds in nutritious nuts and dried fruit along with sweet white-chocolate chips.
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1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup dried apricot halves, chopped
1/2 cup white-chocolate chips
1/2 cup salted roasted almonds, chopped
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter an 8-inch square metal baking pan. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar and vanilla at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the egg until smooth. At low speed, beat in the apricots, chocolate chips and almonds, then beat in the dry ingredients.
Using a spatula, scrape the dough into the prepared pan, pressing it into an even layer. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 45 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool completely. Cut into 2-inch squares.
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