Word to the wise, my friends. When you are taking Flagyl and supposed to be avoiding even the slightest trace of alcohol, that includes vanilla extract in baked goods. Let’s just not even talk about how I know.
But Alex made these cookies right as I got sick, alas, which means I only got a few. Which is a crying shame (and sadly I really might mean that crying part–have you ever had to smell browned butter blondies cooking that you cannot eat???) because these blondies are the bomb. (If you are wondering why we still made them, I won’t lie, I am starting to worry I will run out of dishes to blog about while I am fighting this C. Diff infection.)
I don’t know why it took a recipe in a cookbook for me to think about adding browned butter to blondies, which are already pretty much the essence of caramel-y goodness. I was reading Noelle’s review of The Cookiepedia: Mixing Baking, and Reinventing the Classics over at Opera Singer in the Kitchen, which (naturally, me being me) led to me purchasing that cookbook. Where I found this recipe for browned butter blondies and had a serious “duh!” moment.
I mentioned that Alex made these cookies for me. We finally had a good opportunity to take our OXO mini beakers for a test drive. Full disclosure: OXO sent me a set of these as part of their Blogger Outreach program, and I could not have been more excited. All opinions are my own, I have not been compensated in any way for this post other than receiving the beakers themselves. Which I have been lusting after since the moment I saw them. This is one product that honestly does not need to be seen and used to be believed. The genius of the beakers is apparent just from looking at them, especially for any of us cooking and/or baking with small children. How many of you do not allow your kids to measure the vanilla extract? I know I am guilty. But as the following photos illustrate, these beakers make measuring liquids so easy–for adults too!
Pouring the vanilla into the beaker…
And pouring the vanilla extract into the blondie batter….
Seriously, now that we have these beakers, the only things I needed to do for this recipe were brown the butter (because it is on the stovetop) and pour the blondie batter into the baking pan (because it is heavy). These beakers were approved by mom and daughter alike.
- 2 cups (255 g) AP flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 T vanilla
- 1½ cups total of chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts (Alex chose to use half dark chocolate chips and half semisweet chocolate chips)
- coarse salt for salting the tops of the blondies
- Line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Brown the butter in a medium stainless steel pan. Whisk constantly over medium high heat. When it turns reddish brown, remove from the heat immediately and whisk in the sugars. Whisk in the vanilla.
- If it has cooled enough to insert your finger into it, than also add the eggs, whisking immediately to prevent the eggs from cooking. If it is still too hot, place the pan in a cold water bath for a few minutes (I just fill my sink with cold water).
- Beat the butter sugar mixture until it is thick, smooth and shiny. Scrape the mixture into the flour mixture. Stir gently until the flour is totally absorbed.
- Once again, if the dough is so hot it will melt the chocolate chips, place it in a cold water bath. When it is just a little warm, fold in the chocolate chips and/or nuts.
- Scrape the dough into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to smooth the dough into all the corners of the pan, evenly.
- Sprinkle the top of the dough evenly with a little coarse salt.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the dough is golden brown, shiny and set. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan, before removing by the parchment paper to a wooden cutting board to slice the bars.