Nothing is more delicious in the summertime then biting into a big, juicy berry picked right off the bush. Just kidding … that berry is much better when baked into a moist blondie and washed down with a Cucumber Rose Fizz.
Summers in New Orleans can be rough. It’s hot, you’re sweaty, the mosquitoes are hungry ... it’s not a cute look. Instead of getting up in arms about how miserable you are, take some innovative measures to make the weather a little more bearable, like eating awesome food that won’t weigh you down. That’s hard to do when it comes to desserts, but I think these blondies might be the answer. They’re loaded with white chocolate, making them rich but still light. The berries add a fresh tangy element and it all comes together to give you a dessert that will fill you up without bringing you down. The cocktail pairs nicely with it, acting as a refreshing palate cleanser between each bite. Make this combo and invite the crew over for an afternoon on the porch!
Mixed Berry Summertime Blondies
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1/3 cup + 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (juice the oranges used for zest)
- Zest of 3 oranges
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 18 oz white chocolate morsels (about 3 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a 9 × 9 inch baking pan. Line it with parchment paper to make removal of the blondies even easier.
- Toss the berries in the 1/2 cup of sugar and set them in a colander or sifter. This draws some of the liquid out of the berries before they are baked.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, orange juice and zest, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt 12 oz (2 cups) of the white chocolate morsels. About 45 seconds on High in the microwave usually will be long enough, followed by vigorous whisking to eliminate all chunks. You want the chocolate to be completely liquid so that it mixes easily into the batter.
- Let the chocolate cool for a few minutes until it is near room temperature, so that it won’t cook the eggs.
- Whisk the cooled white chocolate into the egg mixture.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and stir until well combined.
- Fold in the remaining 6 oz (about 1 cup) of white chocolate morsels.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Lay the mixed berries on top.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.
- Allow blondies to cool in the pan. Then remove from the pan and cut into 9 to 12 slices.
Cucumber Rose Fizz
- 2 oz cucumber (about 1/4 of a large cucumber)
- 1/8 tsp rose water
- 1/2 oz simple syrup*
- 2 oz gin
- Champagne or other sparkling wine
- Mint leaves
* To make simple syrup at home, bring equal parts granulated sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Let cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Muddle the cucumber and mint leaves with the rose water and simple syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
- Add the gin and fill the shaker with ice.
- Give it a few quick shakes and strain it into a coupe glass (or leftover plastic Mardi Gras cup, whichever).
- Top with champagne and garnish with a slice of cucumber.