I have always found blondies to be the most boring baked good ever to grace a potluck.
If you’re having trouble remembering what blondies are, they are that tray of beige squares that some overworked mom dumped off at every bake sale or class birthday. Sometimes she added some M&M’s or marshmallows (or sprinkles) in a desperate attempt to jazz up what was clearly a less-than-exemplary dessert. They are almost always either too cakey, or too crumbly, and consistently monotonous in flavor. But these… these brown butter blondies are not that.
Nay, my friends, the humble blondie has been elevated! It now exemplifies the beautiful chewy texture of it’s sister, the brownie. It’s flavor is rich, with notes of caramel, hints of nuttiness, and a touch sea salt. It is a treat to please adults and children alike, while maintaining it’s easy going reputation. Best of all, it is super easy to make!
How, you ask? It is an answer I have given before: Brown Butter.
ALWAYS Brown Butter. That one tiny step can take your baking from yawn-fest to party-central. And it’s so easy to do! Just cook butter until the milk solids caramelize and it smells fucking delicious. I use it in everything: sauces, frostings, cookies, you name it! You can even spread it straight on toast or drop a pat of it on your veggies. I go into more detail about the stages of making brown butter and include a helpful link my post on gingerbread cake with brown butter frosting.
I find it best to make it in bulk. Here’s my method for storing it in the freezer:
– Immediately after browning your butter, pour it into a bowl, making sure to scrape out all of those delicious brown bits. Let it sit on the counter until no longer steaming, then cover and refrigerate.
– Once the butter has solidified, scrape it out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Fold the edges of the plastic wrap over and start to squish and knead the butter. The goal is to get all the brown bits evenly distributed throughout. If the butter is too firm to knead, just let it sit out on the counter covered in the plastic wrap until it’s soft enough, although it will soften as you handle it from the heat of your hands.
– Once your brown bits are distributed, squish the butter into a ball in the center of the plastic wrap. Twist the ends of the wrap to form a jolly rancher shape, until the butter is tightly compressed. Then unwrap from the plastic and rewrap the butter in wax paper or parchment and place in a freezer bag. Store in your freezer for up to 3 months.
– To use, simply cut off what you need and put the rest back in the freezer.
Clearly, brown butter is very versatile. Just remember that when making brown butter most of the liquid is evaporated, so you may need to replace some of that liquid when baking. Simply add 1 tablespoon of water or milk for every half cup of brown butter used.
I could wax poetic about the glories of brown butter all day, but you’re here for the blondies. Although, with the melted white chocolate mixed right into the batter, and the added flavor and texture of the brown sugar, maybe they would be better labeled as white chocolate brownies? Oh well, I’ve already written a whole post so I’m not changing it now.
Oh, and you may be thinking “Hey Kasey, what’s with the sprinkles?” A) Why not sprinkles? They’re pretty and fun. B) My niece’s birthday is coming up and I sent her a baking project with these sprinkles (because what seven year old doesn’t like sprinkles?) and wanted to make sure they baked well before sending them off. I’m a top notch Aunt like that. Also, I live in the city, hang from the ceiling for fun, and occasionally light things on fire. Yeah, I got this Cool Aunt thing on lock.
This recipe is inspired by the blondies recipe from Lil’ Luna.
Brown Butter Blondies
These Brown Butter and White Chocolate Blondies are beautifully rich, soft, and chewy. They are a decadent addition to any party or pot luck, and can be whipped up in under 20 minutes!
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups white chocolate chips (divided)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk (any milk will do)
- 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sprinkles of choice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9X13 inch pan or line with parchment paper.
- Place 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips in a small bowl.
- To make the brown butter*: Place the butter in a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Continue to cook stirring occasionally as the butter starts to bubble and foam. After a few minutes the foam will subside and the butter will be a dark golden color and have a nutty, caramelly fragrance. It is finished when you see tiny brown flecks on the bottom of the pan.
- Immediately pour the hot brown butter over the white chocolate chips, scraping the pan with a rubber spatula to include the brown bits. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Allow to cool slightly
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, both sugars, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Add the brown butter and chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the flour and salt and stir until just combined. Do not over mix. Pour into prepared pan and smooth with a rubber or offset spatula. Sprinkle top with remaining white chocolate chips and optional sprinkles.*
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.
* Alternatively you can make the brown butter ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use, if refrigerated simply place brown butter and white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe dish and cook in 30-second intervals, stirring between, until melted and smooth. If frozen, start microwaving brown butter first until soft to avoid burning the chocolate.
*You can also fold the white chocolate chips directly into the batter, but I like to be able to see them after they bake, so I sprinkle.