Blondies, for those not in the know, are essentially chocolate chip cookies in the form of a brownie. I adore a chewy chocolate chip cookie, with crispy edges and soft middles and pools of molten chocolate, as much as the next person, but I just might love these particular blondies a tiny bit more. You might think it is the brown butter that makes me love them, as it adds a wonderful nuttiness to the flavor of the blondies. Or you might think it is the two kinds of chocolate – both milk and dark – that get me excited.
Or maybe the addition of toasted pecans, which I never add to chocolate chip cookies, but are just fab in these blondies. And, yes, I do love these blondies for all those reasons. But I really love them because they could not be easier to assemble and I am extremely fond of simple recipes that one can throw together quickly and with minimal fuss. And these blondies are just that and then some.
Here’s what you need to do:
First, you brown your butter – but you do it in the microwave – if you have one, which makes it an entirely hands-off task and a slightly less messy one (sometimes browning butter on the stovetop can get a bit splatter-y). But if you do not have a microwave, no worries – I give directions in the recipe for doing it in a saucepan on the stovetop, as well.
Next you combine your warm, butter with your sugars – I call for both granulated and brown sugar, as that is the best combo for that chocolate chip cookie flavor we all love (or, I hope we all love…). You then add two eggs and a yolk. I like an extra yolk in this recipe, as it adds wonderful moisture to the blondies. I also add a generous tablespoon of vanilla, as I am very vanilla-forward (as I may have already mentioned in the pages of this magazine).
I then fold the dry ingredients, as well as the chocolate and nuts, into the wet – but I do so gently to avoid a tough blondie. I transfer the dough to the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is crackily-looking and lightly browned. The baking is the only complicated part of the recipe – if you can all it that – as you do not want to overbake your blondies, and yet, you cannot test them for doneness as you would a cake… Instead, I look for a brown, golden color and a slightly cracked top. And under baking these is 100% recommended as a gooey blondie, is one of life’s great pleasures – in case you did not know.
These blondies are lovely as after school snacks, lovely with a cup of coffee mid-morning, and lovely in a cookie box that you gift (or that you just keep on your counter and steal blondies from while binge watching Netflix). You do you.
2 sticks salted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup bread or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A generous 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×9-inch pan with cooking spray and line it with a piece of parchment that extends up two sides of the pan.
Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it and microwave on high for eight to ten minutes, until the butter smells nutty and brown bits have sunk to the bottom of the bowl. To do this on the stove, turn the heat to medium and melt the butter in a small saucepan until the butter exhibits the above described nuttiness and brown bits.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the pecans and chips and toss the add-ins with the flour.
In a large bowl whisk the browned butter and the sugars. Whisk in the eggs and yolk one at a time. Whisk in the vanilla. With a flexible spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Do not over-mix. Transfer the blondie batter to the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and crackly (I’d say pull them sooner rather than later as they can get dry and crumbly very quickly). Let cool on a rack until room temp, or until just cool enough to keep their shape if you want to eat them gooey and melty. Lift the blondies out by the parchment paper overhang and slice. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if you know what’s good for you.
Jessie is a baker and cookbook author; you can learn more about her through her website www.jessiesheehanbakes.com.