If you’re on a diet, stop reading right now.
I go through more butter, brown sugar and eggs than most people. And even by my standards, this recipe seemed pretty rich. A cup and a quarter of butter? Two cups of brown sugar and three eggs? It had better be delicious. And I’d better not ruin it.
As usual, I started reading the directions after I’d started into the recipe. And one of those directions called for me to brown butter.
I started melting it but, never having browned butter in my life, I thought it would be useful to know what the finished product should look like and why I was doing it. Take a look here for a description and here for really useful photos. I considered taking a photo of my own butter to post, but between googling “how to brown butter” and actually browning my own, I had my hands full.
Let me say that the finished result was spectacular! I always doubted the validity of browned butter as a cooking technique. I assumed it was a fancy term for putting the butter on to melt and then wandering away to, oh I don’t know, google baking terminology. But the flavour was beautiful and nutty, and definitely brought a new dimension to this recipe. I almost regretted that I had substituted chocolate chips for the nuts, because I thought the flavour would shine through a little more without the distraction of chocolate.
Never fear. If you’ve made it this far, with the abundance of butter (browned), brown sugar and eggs, you will adore these blondies. With or without the distraction of chocolate.
I had lunch out a week ago with five dear friends to celebrate Jan and Carla’s birthdays. Kim had organized it, but she couldn’t attend at the last moment because she fell on the ice and broke her wrist in two places. As a consolation prize, I took her a plate of these blondies. It’s not as good as lunch with your girlfriends, but hopefully it takes a little of the sting out.
Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
(adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup toffee bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, or line the bottom with parchment paper.
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine browned butter and both sugars; beat until combined. Add eggs and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour mixture, chocolate chips, and toffee bits. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.
Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack to cool before turning out of pan onto a cutting board. Peel off parchment paper; cut blondies into 3-inch squares. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
As if they’d last that long.