Carrot Cake Blondies

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Hello and happy Tuesday! Today is a big travel day. I am currently flying back from Chicago from the International Housewares Expo! Which is basically like four days of a giant interactive department store!

The expo is filled with brands like kitchen aid, Le Creuset, Staub, you name it! They all come together and showcase their newest products and some products that have yet to be produced!

I was invited by the online publication I blog for, The Inspired Home. I was able to bring Abbie (my blog partner in crime!) with me for the show and some sight seeing!

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We did get to sneak in a few fun things like the art museum and millennial park (the bean!) We also went out for deep-dish pizza twice! Then on Sunday we went to an epic blogger dinner where we all put our aprons down, laughed big belly laughs and brought us all back down to earth. It’s so important to realize every once in a while that we are humans and not creative machines!

While it was quite the memorable trip I am always happy to get back home and back to some routine. The pizza was absolutely delicious but my body is craving healthy greens and vitamins. I also miss Jared and Rascal dearly. I love my lil fam and even a few days away is always hard!

I am also feeling so refreshed and ready for spring! I’ve got tons of ideas churning and I can’t wait to get creating recipes and content! I am starting off some Easter inspiration today with carrot cake blondies!

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Are you guys carrot cake fans?! I really LOVE carrot cake. I love a dessert that has a few different flavors and textures laced through it. Carrot cake is no exception. These blondies are studded with
pecans
gold raisins
fresh carrots
AND shredded coconut!

I made this recipe mostly because I know carrot cake can become a little time consuming. For Easter desserts (and any holiday really) you usually have about a zillion things to do. Even if I’m just attending the holidays at someone’s house I feel like I always have a bunch of stuff to do to get ready. So I wanted to create an easy carrot cake Blondie with the entire flavor of traditional carrot cake, but about half the time!

They come together in less than 20 minutes and bake for another 30! Traditional carrot cake always has some kind of cream cheese frosting or icing that brings it all together! I knew these carrot cake blondies would have no exception! On top of the blondies are a rich cream cheese icing! Give these super moist (sorry I had to say it!) and flavorful blondies a try this spring season if you love to make easy desserts! 

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Carrot Cake Blondies

1 1/2 Cups of all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon of baking powder
¼ Teaspoon of kosher salt
1 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ Teaspoon of ground ginger
1 Stick of unsalted butter, just melted
1 ½ Cup of brown sugar
1 Teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup of shredded carrots
1/4 Cup of raisins
1/4 Cup of chopped pecans
1/4 Cup of shredded coconut

8 Oz of softened cream cheese
3 Cups of powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
3-4 Tablespoons of half & half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease (I use non stick spray) a 9x9 or 9x13 baking pan and set aside. 

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and set aside. 
Place your butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt 30-40 seconds long. You want the butter to be just melted and not steamy and hot. In a separate large bowl, hand whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, pure vanilla extract and eggs until smooth. Fold in the flour mixture into the wet mixture about 20-30 turns or until just incorporated. Gently fold in carrots, raisins, pecans and coconut to the batter until evenly incorporated. Pour batter evenly into greased baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden and a toothpick comes out cleanly.
Remove blondies and cool for 20-30 minutes. Transfer onto a wire rack for an extra 20 mins to finish cooling. 

In a large bowl fitted with a hand or stand mixer beat cream cheese for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract, 1 tbs of half&half and 1/3 of powder sugar and mix. Continue to do so in two more separate increments. Spread cream cheese icing evenly onto brownies. Cut into 9 or 12 squares and serve. 

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