Why not indulge in a few sticks of rich, nutty brown butter and a few cups of sugar? I’m sort of kidding, a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, right? It was Super Bowl Sunday and we were pretty much snowed in, so I had no choice but to make these buttery babies.
I don’t even like nuts in dessert, but toasted walnuts and pecans really gave these bars a nice texture. I’m sure these are best eaten warm with ice cream, but by the handful standing in front of your oven will do too.
Things didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped when the first batch of brown butter was disappointingly light. A quick online search set me straight – be sure to watch closely and pull it off the heat and into a heat-safe bowl as soon as you see an amber color and dark milk solids at the bottom of the pan.
Most of these were given away to family and my coworkers because leaving them in our kitchen is a safety errr waistline hazard.
Click through for the full recipe!
Brown Butter Blondies
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
Brown Butter Mixture
1 stick unsalted butter
1 large egg
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract I added a little more!
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
Some butter for greasing your pan
2 1/4 cups flour
Light handful of flour for dusting pan
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped I did half walnuts!
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 3/4 cups (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract Again eyeballed this!
For the brown butter mixture:
Cook butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns. On my gas stove this took about 10-12 minutes. You must watch it! As soon as the foam eerily quiets you’re almost finished. The butter should look like this. Take the pan of the heat and transfer to a medium bowl where it can cool slightly.
Add egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat in a standing mixer until mixture is light and falls back onto itself in a slowly dissolving ribbon, about 3 minutes. Fold in flour with a spatula and set aside.
For the blondies:
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 13×9” baking dish and dust with flour (knock out excess). You could use PAM spray instead, but why would you do that?
Toast pecans (& walnuts!) on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.
Whisk baking powder, salt, and 2 1/4 cups flour in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar and 1 cup butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating between additions; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in vanilla.
Reduce speed to low and mix in dry ingredients. Fold in half of the nuts. Scrape two-thirds of batter into prepared baking dish; smooth top, pushing batter to edges. This batter is THICK, but it will work. Alternating, dollop brown butter mixture and remaining batter on top. Smooth and sprinkle remaining nuts over.
Bake until blondie is golden brown and firm (a tester will not come out clean), 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly on atop a wire rack until you can’t handle drooling any more. Serve with ice cream if lactose is your thing.
• Print the original recipe at Bon Appetit.
• Watch a brown butter tutorial on YouTube
• Learn why butter isn’t all that bad for you.