Friday, March 28, 2014

Salted Browned Butter Blondies

Lately, I have been in the mood for blondies.  So I whipped up a batch of these Salted Browned Butter Blondies that I found over at The Spiced Life.  Yum.  Let's think of the components here:  browned butter - yum.  Light and dark brown sugar - yum.  Chocolate chips - yum.  Sprinkle some coarse salt on top of that and you are guaranteed a good dose of yummy goodness!   These blondies take the best aspects of blondies - the butterscotch-y rich flavor and throw in chocolate and salt for good measure.  Delish!

The brown-ness here is deceptive!  It isn't really that dark or caramel looking.  Don't know why it turned out that way in the photo!

The most important part of these is browning the butter.  If you aren't paying attention, browned butter can become burned butter in a milli-second.  You have to watch it and whisk constantly.  So yes, this does take a tiny bit more effort than just using melted butter, but ahh, the lovely toasted, nutty flavor of browned butter is so decadent feeling!

Ready for the recipe so you can make them yourself?

Salted Browned Butter Blondies
adapted from The Spiced Life

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts (1 1/2 cups total)
coarse salt for salting the tops of the blondies

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set this aside.

To  brown the butter:  Put the two sticks of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium-high heat.  The butter will melt, crackle and bubble.  Whisk it continuously for 2-4 minutes as the butter begins to brown.  Watch for little brown specks to appear in the butter.  At the same time, you will probably start to smell a nutty aroma.  Once this happens, immediately remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk for 30-60 seconds.  Whisk in the sugars and vanilla.  Transfer the butter to a mixing bowl to cool. You can place the bowl in an ice bath if you want to accelerate the cooling process.  The butter has to cool enough so that when you add the eggs, you don't cook them!

If you can put your finger into the butter/sugar mix comfortably, you can now whisk in the eggs, whisking immediately. 

Beat the butter/sugar/egg mixture until it is thick, smooth and shiny.  Scrape this into the flour mixture.  Stir gently until the flour is totally absorbed into the liquid.

Be certain that the batter is nice and cool, and mix in the chocolate chips.  If it is too warm, the chips will melt which is not what we want.  Gently fold in the chips and nuts, if you are using them.  Scrape this into the parchment-lined pan.  Smooth the batter into the corners of the pan with a rubber spatula.

Sprinkle the top of the batter with coarse salt.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until it is nice and shiny and golden.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.  Lift the parchment paper and dough out of the pan and place on a cutting board to cut into bars.
Printable Recipe

Yum.  These cookies/bars hit all of the notes I was looking for.  Now I want to try some other blondie recipes, though.  There is an enormous variety out there, some with no chocolate, with toffee, with coconut, with different nuts...  What should I try next?

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