Japanese Blondies, #ChristmasWeek, #CakeBossBaking

Welcome to Day #6 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.

Chocolate is swirled into American celebrations: From Christmas and Hanukah and all the way to Hump Wednesday! Similarly the Japanese have a penchant for azuki red bean paste. The velvety sweet beans show up everywhere and in everything from exquisite traditional Japanese cakes to everyday chocolate snacks. (Click here for a post entitled Japan’s Love Affair with Azuki Red Beans.)

Traditional Japanese sweet cakes with red azuki bean centers


Chocolates filled with red azuki bean paste

As my tastes extend to both sides of the Pacific, for our celebration of #ChristmasWeek, I was compelled to include red bean paste into the Jessie Oleson Moore’s (aka the Cake Spy) butter, brown sugar laden blondies.  The blondies recipe is from Jessie’s fantabulous The Secret Lives Of Baked Goods.

Blondies with red azuki bean centers,
dressed up for the holidays with pecans, sugar gingerbread boys
& Japanese chocolate cookie mushrooms.

I was a bit wary of sharing my Japanese Blondies with Americans. But I bit the bullet and offered up the blondies to friends who never mince words. The commentary? Drum roll please. “These are really good. What’s in these blondies?”

Japanese blondies

Do believe my Christmas angels are watching over me.

Japanese Blondies

Golden brownies baked to perfection with bits of butter, brown sugar, red azuki beans. 

This recipe is adapted from Jessie Oleson Moore's The Secret Lives of Baked Goods.

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, whisked lightly
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup red azuki bean paste (anko in Japanese, available in most Asian markets)
  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • Gingerbread sugar boys and chocolate cookies bits for optional garnish

Prepare a 9 x 13 inch pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and baking spray.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flours, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar with the paddle attachment. Allow five minutes for a fluffy butter and brown sugar mixture to appear. One at a time, add the eggs. Pour in the vanilla. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Scrape the bowl often.

Fill the prepared pan with the batter. Drop generous tablespoons of azuki red bean paste equally over the mixture.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center has only a very few clinging crumbs. Garnish with pecans and if desired, gingerbread sugar boys and chocolate biscuit cookie bits.

Visit all the other Christmas Week Peeps for more Holiday Baking Goodness:


Today’s #ChristmasWeek giveaway comes courtesy of Cake Boss Baking. Cake Boss Baking is the new branded bake ware from Buddy Valastro, the talented chef and baker behind the TLC TV show, "Cake Boss". Cake Boss Baking features a full line of cake pans, decorating tools, dessert plates and more, with product for all levels of expertise. Cake Boss Baking is offering one #ChristmasWeek reader the opportunity to win a prize package full of baking tools and essentials {ARV: $260}, including:


***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by Cake Boss Baking. #ChristmasWeek bloggers have not received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

To enter, read the details and use the Rafflecopter below! ***This giveaway is for one Cake Boss Baking baking essentials prize pack (details listed above)! This giveaway is open to Continental US residents only . When the contest concludes, the winner will be chosen by random draw. The winner will be notified through e-mail and they will have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen.*** a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wishing you reasons, big and small,  to celebrate everyday!

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



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