Browned Butter Blondies

Saturday, April 16, 2016

And to think I've gotten by so long without having blondies. A first attempt, and I got a keeper!

The success, or rather, taste, of a blondie hinges on just nuts and chocolate. So use fresh nuts and toast them, use really good chocolate (Guittard for me) and load up this blondie on good vanilla extract ... they make your otherwise ho-hum batter go the extra mile.

But to make blondies exponentially better ... brown the butter! It magically transforms any baked good into something so much more delicious. Browned butter is more fragrant, it pairs perfectly on a baked good with nuts, it gives it a more complex and toasty flavour. There really is no comparison.

The simpler the recipe, or the lesser the ingredients, the better they should be individually. Yes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but what if the parts were so much better? The whole would be exponentially better ;)

These blondies are slightly on the cake side, not gooey. That's just how I like them. A wonderful pairing with my caffeinated beverage of choice mid-day. Perfect when I want something hearty and satisfying, when chocolate is not always the answer.

2 cups walnuts, toasted
375 g (3 cups) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
340 g (1-1/2 cups / 3 sticks) unsalted butter, browned and cooled
400 g (2 cups) light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
8 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups white chocolate chips

1. Line 2 8-inch square pans with parchment paper, allowing for an overhang on all sides to pull up your blondie.
2. Butter all sides of the parchment paper.

3. Preheat oven to 175C or 350F.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toast the walnuts for 10 to 15 minutes until just slightly browned.

5. While the walnuts are toasting, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, until evenly combined.
6. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the butter and the sugars until creamy, about 5 to 7 minutes.
7. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until totally incorporated before adding the next.
8. Add the vanilla extract.
9. On a low speed, fold in the dry ingredients until just combined, followed by the walnuts and the white chocolate chips.

10. Divide the thick batter into the two prepared pans, smoothing it out to fill the corners.
11. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until it passes the skewer test. 
12. Rest the baking pans on a cooling rack to cool completely, then carefully remove the blondies with the aid of the overhanging parchment.
Cut into squares before serving.

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