These blondies are serious business. I was first attracted to the original recipe because of the word whiskey (which is fabulous in desserts) and I thought pecans and white chocolate where a natural match. The result exceeded all my expectations! The brown butter combined with brown sugar, pecans and white chocolate provide a deep caramely flavor that could fool you into thinking there’s maple syrup in there, and the whiskey adds a subtle smokiness which I think is responsible for the love at first bite everyone seem to experience when they have their first square. If you’ve never had blondies before, try these. I can’t stop baking them and they may even have just replaced brownies as my favorite dessert.
Makes 16 squares
1 cup [250 ml] butter
1 cup [250 ml] dark brown sugar, packed
½ tsp [2.5 ml] salt
1 tsp [5 ml] vanilla extract
2 tbsp [30 ml] whiskey (you can experiment with any kind, including bourbon and Scotch whiskey)
1 cup [250 ml] unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup [125 ml] chopped pecans
½ cup [125 ml] chopped white chocolate, or white chocolate chunks, or white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F [175°C] and butter an 8-inch [20-cm] square baking pan.
Brown the butter: Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, and melt the butter. Leave it on the heat while constantly stirring or swirling the pan until the butter turns to a golden caramel color. The butter will bubble up as water evaporates from it, so it’s very important that you stir it up to be able to see the color of the butter changing under the foam. You don’t want to burn it! Using a saucepan with a stainless steel finish also makes it easier to monitor the butter’s color. All in all, it should take about 3-4 minutes to brown the butter. Take it off the heat as soon as it’s golden and smells heavenly, keep on stirring for a few seconds so you can make sure it’s the perfect color, then pour it into a mixing bowl.
Add the brown sugar to the browned butter. Beat with an electric mixer for four minutes, until creamy. Add the egg and beat again. Add the vanilla extract and whiskey, and beat again. Add the flour and salt, and beat just until combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the chopped pecans and white chocolate, then spread into the buttered pan. The mixture will be quite thick so you’ll need to use the spatula to spread it to the edges of the pan.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is set and the edges are barely golden. Let cool in the pan over a wire rack, then cut into squares and serve, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The blondies also freeze very well. Just make sure to bring them back to room temperature (or warm them up a bit) before serving.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Jenny Weber, Eat Live Run.