Vanilla Cream Blondies

So we're T-minus like 3½ days until vacation, and I feel like all I'm doing is rushing around. Granted, some of it is my own doing, because somehow that always happens that way.

Back in March - maybe? - I decided that I needed to read fifty books BEFORE vacation. That way, ya know, I wouldn't fall behind and what not. Yesterday I finished A Homemade Life by the lovely Molly of Orangette, and that was number forty-eight. So I have between now and Thursday night to read two more books. I think I can do it.

Also on my "Kristen put too much on her plate" list is my own little tradition with friends. For their birthday, they get their own request of a baked good. Whatever they want (within some reason, however; something that's easily portable is a must), and they don't have to share it with anyone if they don't want to. Pretty good deal, right? Except here, all of a sudden, I have three friends with birthdays between May 1st and May 9th. Thank goodness Rachel (the May 1st birthday) said that she'll take hers after my vacation. (Seriously. Thank you lol) So that leaves me with Marcos (tomorrow) and Tasha (Saturday).

Marcos' first request was something with bananas. Um, nope, sorry. LOL I don't like bananas. At all. Taste, texture - ugh. Yuck. So after much deliberation and harassment, he went with something with vanilla. Works.

I had the idea of cream cheese blondies, but could never find anything that really clicked. The recipe I did eventually find (after two days of searching) was over at Group Recipes. I played around with the quantity of vanilla, pretty much adding a bit at a time, until I felt there was enough vanilla-ness. :)

The result? A blondie that's dense yet almost cake-like at the same time, with a vanilla flavor that really makes me question whether I really want to bring these to work tomorrow or not. Just kidding. I promise I'll bring them in. Really. ;)

(They're already packed in a box, thus no picture. But I really wish I had a chance - and better lighting - since the swirls came out so nicely this time!)

Edited to add: So the blondies? They were all gone before 3pm. And supposedly Marcos shared them. ;) I think that has to be a new record. LOL

9 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2½ tsp. vanilla
1-2/3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. flour
1 egg
3-4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease an 8-inch baking pan.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined. Gradually add dry ingredients. Spread half of the batter onto the bottom of prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, butter, flour, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Spoon 2/3's of cream cheese mixture on top of blondie batter and spread evenly. Gently top with remaining blondie batter. Drop small dollops of cream cheese on top and gently swirl.

Bake at 325F for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out nearly clean. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

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