I’m a rusher.
If I have a task, I like to get it done in the shortest amount of time possible.
At 31, I’ve finally learned that this is actually not the best way to get the most optimal results. Some things take time; finesse; a little extra effort.
Like Brown Butter Blondies.
Blondies are good. They scratch the itch. They get the job done. But the 10 extra minutes that Brown Butter Blondies require are life-changing. They are worth the additional 600 seconds that browning the butter requires. The flavor they give the blondies is so warm, nutty and delightful, it makes you wonder if we should be browning butter for EVERYTHING.
(The answer is yes).
Do not let browning the butter intimidate you. I promise you can do this. You might even surprise yourself.
I’m obsessed with my brownies (recipe to come), but this dessert is quickly becoming a house favorite. Make them and bring them to work holiday potlucks/children’s Halloween parties/neighbor’s awkward divorce celebration. They are perfect for any event and you get to sound all fancy like.
As a friend recently told me “I’d eat these off the floor.” Ringing endorsement, indeed.
Feel free to mix in any additional extras you desire. I like them as they are.
Brown Butter Blondies
(These are an adaptation of Smitten Kitchen’s blondies. I upped the butter, browned it, changed the flour and added a leavener to make it my own. But we give credit where credit is due around here!)
Making Brown Butter (for the science of it, check out Nila Jones educational post here. For just the technique, look below!)
- 9 tablespoons (1 stick + 1 tablespoon) brown butter (technique below)
- Heavy bottomed light colored pot
- Rubber spatula (I have admittedly used a wooden spoon in a pinch)
- Heat your oven to 350 for future brownies. In a light colored pot (so you can see), heat your butter over low to medium-low heat until melted (about a minute and 30 seconds). Stir as necessary to help with the melting.
- Next, you must cook off the water in the butter. This will cause some bubbling. Continue to cook and stir over medium-low to medium heat, while scraping the sides of your pot.
- About 4 minutes after you have started this process, your butter will begin to foam. This is the beginning of the browning process. Continue to stir constantly while monitoring your butter. The higher your heat, the quicker it’ll darken, so keep it around medium-low if you’re a Brown Butter virgin.
- Dark flecks (browned milk solids) will begin to appear and the butter will begin to smell “nutty and toasty” as Nila says in her post. Spoon up the solids to check the coloring and feel free to taste it to see if the nutty flavor has developed (and remember, we’re not going for burnt butter here! Better to pull it too soon than wait too late).
- When darkness and flavor are achieved (about 2-3 minutes after the foam appears), pour the entire contents into a heatproof bowl and stir to cool it down. You need it to cool down because later, you will mix an egg in there and let’s not forget what happens when egg and heat meet (scramble happens).
Now for the Blondies
- Just made Brown Butter
- 1 cup brown sugar (I prefer dark, but any will do)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ tsp baking powder (some people don’t put leaveners in their blondies – but I like the little lift BP gives these)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup cake flour (If you only have all-purpose, use all purpose! One day I only had cake flour and LOVED the texture, but it’s not necessary).
- 8×8 pan
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour your 8×8 pan. Mix browned butter and brown sugar together in a bowl. When the first two ingredients are fully incorporated, whisk in the egg and vanilla.
- Add the salt and baking powder. If you are a sifter (as we should all be, but we know we’re not), sift your flour and add it to the mixture. Stir, until your dry ingredients are incorporated, but don’t overstir – you’ll notice this batter will get tight really quickly. Even when stiff, it’ll transfer fine to your 8×8. But if it’s TOO stiff, incorporate a bit more melted butter. If you are adding a mix-in of your choice, gently fold it in.
- Transfer mixture to your prepped 8×8 and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove, let cool, eat entire pan, enjoy your hard work, make another batch, and tell people you made Brown Butter Blondies which sound SUPER fancy, but deep down you know the truth.