traveling made these cookies possible!

Last weekend I took a very quick trip home to buy a car and see my best friend graduate from the University of Michigan.  While in Ann Arbor, I stopped by Trader Joe's, and saw that they sell dried pears, an ingredient required for one of my cookie recipes that I have been unable to find locally.  Needless to say, I purchased some and proceeded to make the following blondies.

95. Pear, Pistachio, and Ginger Blondies
Here is an example of a baked good that improves with (some) age, as well as a flavor pairing that is old news on internet recipes (I'd like to try this one), but is brand new to me.

These start with a usual dough base - butter, brown sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, and so on - which is given flavor by the addition of dried pears, candied ginger, and chopped pistachios.  The result immediately after baking was a little dry, but the next day the pear and ginger flavors mingled, and the pistachio taste mellowed out a little to create something delicious, and probably a little less guilt-inducing than some other blondies (full of butter, toffee, chocolate, and so on) I've baked.

I wish I had the appropriate vocabulary to describe the taste of the ginger-pear pairing, but despite my deficiency, I'll try: on their own, pear has a very light taste, and ginger tends to be overwhelming.  Somehow, when both are put together, they enhance the other's taste, so that the sweet pears get a kind of spicy taste, but the ginger is also calmed down a bit.  I think perhaps the best adjective I've got for this is 'crisp.'  Yes, I'll go with calling it a crisp flavor.  The pistachios in the blondies add some salt... and pistachio taste, of which I've never been particularly fond.

Overall, these don't taste as heavy or rich as many other things I've baked, and so they make a good standalone snack.  If I get another chance to grab dried pears (or if I take a friend up on his offer to dry some for me), these may show up again soon.

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In other news, as of yesterday I am finished with required classes forever.  Now I just need to buckle down and do some good research, so that in 4 ± ?? years I can get my PhD.

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