Serves: 20 to 22
- 1½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- Meringue Frosting (recipe follows)
- Miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- Red nonpareils
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, letting excess extend over sides of pan; spray foil with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla extract, whisking until combined.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually whisk flour mixture into egg mixture just until combined. Using an offset spatula, spread batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using excess foil as handles, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Using foil to lift, place blondie on a cutting surface, and peel foil away. Using a 2¼-inch heart-shaped cutter, cut as many shapes as possible from blondie. (Make cuts as close to edges as possible to utilize space, turning cutter as necessary.) Arrange heart shapes with points at top and rounded edges at bottom.
- Place white Meringue Frosting in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (Wilton #1). On bottom third of each blondie, pipe an outline for Santa’s beard and mustache, leaving a small opening for the mouth.
- Place red Meringue Frosting in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (Wilton #1). On top third of each blondie, pipe an outline for Santa’s hat. Let stand until frosting dries, at least 1 hour.
- Using the back of a spoon or a small clean paintbrush, fill in beard with more white frosting and fill in hat with more red frosting.
- Using small dots of white frosting, glue 2 chocolate chips in place for eyes and 1 nonpareil in place for the nose on each blondie, pressing gently to adhere.
- Using white frosting, pipe a line at bottom of Santa’s hat for the trim and a dot at the top for the pompom. Let stand until frosting dries, at least 1 hour. Store in a single layer an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Serves: 1½ cups
- ¼ cup cold water
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Red paste food coloring
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, beat together ¼ cup cold water and meringue powder with a mixer at medium speed until foamy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. (Frosting will be thick.)
- Transfer two-thirds of frosting to another medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap directly on surface until ready to use.
- Transfer remaining one-third of frosting to a small bowl. Add desired amount of food coloring and vanilla extract, stirring until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap directly on surface until ready to use.
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