Blondie preference is incredibly subjective. Some people want them gooey. Some people want them cake-like. Unfortunately, it is rare to please an entire crowd with a batch of blondies. These Brown Butter Blondies are the truly the best of all worlds.
That said, for me, I like my blondies dense, slightly gooey, and not remotely resembling cake. It’s just how I feel. Oh, and I LOVE a crackly top on them!
Recently, a dear friend from high school and baking buddy (Hi, Robin!!!) asked if I had a good blondie recipe. I explained to her that I have yet to find a recipe that I love. So, thanks to Robin’s little kick in the butt, I got to work.
Nerd alert: This Paragraph Includes Food Science
I based this recipe on my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Because of my preference for a dense, gooey blondie, I did not want these Brown Butter Blondies to rise so much, and I wanted them to rise evenly. If you were to plop the batter from my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies into the pan and bake them, the edges would rise higher than the rest of the pan due to the baking soda/vinegar combination reacting with the oven heat. (The edges of the pan, of course, heat up before the center of the pan.) So, I removed the chemical leavener combination of baking soda and vinegar. However, to give the blondies a slight rise and add some richness to the already rich batter, I threw in an additional egg. I also decreased the amount of chocolate from the cookie recipe because, in blondie form, I want to be able to taste more of the dough.
Food Science Talk is Over
These are super easy to make. If you are new to brown butter, please visit my Brown Butter: What Is It and How to Make It post where I explain all about it and include photos so you know what you are looking for when browning your butter.
Every time I have made these, I didn’t have the time (i.e., I was too desperate to start eating them) to pop the prepared batter in the refrigerator. I suspect that doing so will result in a more developed flavor, as it does with the cookies. If you try this, please let me know how it works out! You should prepare the batter as written, spread into the prepared pan, cover in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator at least overnight and up to 72 hours. Just before placing the pan into the oven, sprinkle the top with flaky salt. It may need to bake an additional couple of minutes.
Brown Butter Blondies
- 227 grams unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch squares (16 Tablespoons or 2 sticks)
- 240 grams all purpose flour (2 cups)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 146 grams light brown sugar (⅔ cup, if measuring, firmly packed)
- 133 grams granulated sugar (⅔ cup )
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 256 grams semisweet and/or bittersweet chocolate chips (1½ cups )
- Pinch Flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch by 8-inch pan with parchment paper. (If you lightly spray non-stick spray on the bottom and sides of the pan, the parchment will stick to the pan. Do not grease the top of the parchment paper.)
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once fully melted, increase the heat to low-medium to cook the butter, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The butter will start popping and crackling and then start foaming. The part of the butter that will start browning is the milk solids which will be on the bottom of the pan. This is why you need to keep stirring and lifting the spatula or spoon out of the pan to see what stage it is at. Once you have nicely browned specks on the bottom of the pan, remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the butter into a heatproof bowl to stop it from cooking any further. (Be careful not to overcook the butter. It can go from brown to burnt very quickly.) Allow the butter to cool to room temperature. Set aside the saucepan to also cool.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Pour the room temperature butter back to the large saucepan. (If the remaining drops of brown butter on the saucepan reached the burnt stage, do not use the saucepan to mix the batter. Instead, use a large, clean bowl.) With a wooden spoon or spatula, mix in the sugar, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla. Add the eggs and mix until fully combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix just until fully combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Sprinkle sea salt on top and bake for 32-38 minutes. The middle should not jiggle and the sides should be lightly browned. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
- Cool completely in the pan.
- The brown butter can be made ahead of time, even by a few days. If you are new to making brown butter, use a lower flame so you have more control over the cooking process. It may take a few minutes longer, but the butter will be less likely to go from brown to burnt so quickly. Store the brown butter in a sealed container in the refrigerator. When you make the blondies, melt the brown butter over a low flame and allow to cool to room temperature before mixing in the rest of the ingredients.
- I have not done it, but there is no reason why you could not prepare the batter and keep it in the refrigerator (in the prepared baking pan) for up to several days. I suspect the flavor will be more developed. Just do not add the flaky salt on top until just before you put them in the oven to bake. The baking time may need to be adjusted to a couple more minutes.
- Served warm, vanilla ice cream is the perfect companion.
- These freeze beautifully. Cut them up and place in an airtight bag. Take out as many as you want. They should be at room temperature within 15 minutes.
- Deeper, quality chocolate is best for these blondies. (Milk chocolate is good, but not great.) Semi-sweet if fabulous, and a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet is truly wonderful. Can’t find bittersweet chips? Just chop up a quality bittersweet chocolate bar. I use these semi-sweet chips, these bittersweet chips, and these milk chocolate chips. Callebaut is one of my all time favorite chocolates to bake with. Their chocolate is slightly expensive, but it is what sets my blondies apart from everyone else’s. Use quality ingredients for a quality baked good!