Cake Batter Blondie Bars

I mean, really...should I even type anything else?  The title is all you need and you want to make them, right?  (Or, is that just me?)

The recipe comes from the new cookbook by blogger Dorothy Kern (Crazy for Crust):
Dessert Mash-Ups: Tasty Two-in-One Treats Including Sconuts, S'morescake and Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie.  

Yes, every recipe in the book is really two desserts in one...Strawberry Pie Cupcakes, Peanut Butter cup Brownie Bites, White Chocolate Coconut Pie Fudge.

Every recipe looks so good...and so FUN, but my eyes were drawn first to the Cake Batter Blondie Bars.  Yes, I am a sucker for sprinkles.

In the book, Dorothy shows these bars with multi-colored sprinkles (jimmies), but I decided to make them look a little more seasonal.  I used chocolate sprinkles (jimmies) in the batter, and fall-hued sugar pearls for the topping.

How do they taste?  AMAZING!  I sent in an extra bar or two in kiddo's lunchbox this week and when we saw one of his friends last night, he said to me, "Mrs. Edwards!  Thank you for that was SO GOOD!  What WAS that?!?!?"  Really, that's what makes me happy...when kiddo and his friends like what I bake.

Cake Batter Blondie Bars
{used with permission from Dessert Mash-Ups}

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter extract
1/2 cup sprinkles (I used chocolate jimmies)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon whole milk
sprinkles, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 9x13" pan with foil and spray with cooking spray (I used Crisco).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt, and flour.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugars and butter.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter extract, and beat until combined.  On low speed, add in the flour. Stir in the sprinkles.

Press the dough into the prepared pan. (The dough will be sticky, spray hand with cooking spray, or wet with water, to keep the dough from sticking to you.)  Bake for 22-24 minutes.  They will be slightly golden, but still have the slightest jiggle in the center.  They'll set as they cool.  Cool completely before frosting.

make the frosting:
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter until smooth.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix until crumbly.  Add in the vanilla and milk, and mix until smooth.  Frost the bars.  Top the sprinkles and cut into bars.  Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator.  Best eaten at room temperature within 5 days.

*side CUTE is that plate??!? Novogratz collection at Macy's.

I'm thinking I'll need to make these again with Christmas sprinkles...and then Valentine...and then Easter.  I sense a baking trend at my house.

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