Brown Butter Apple Blondies with Salted Butterscotch Glaze
These decadent brown butter apple blondies turn the delicious fall fruit into an easy treat topped with an irresistible salted butterscotch glaze.
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Have you ever tasted or made blondies? Blondies are the blond equivalent of brownies. They’re usually made with white chocolate and they have that same barely set, completely decadent texture brownies have. Brownies are a staple at my house, but I like to switch things up and go blond once in a while.
I was recently daydreaming of the melt-in-your-mouth quality of blondies–yep, that’s what my daydreams are made of!—and I played an association game in my mind, an exercise I often do when I’m trying to create a new recipe. From fudgy cake I thought of brown butter… from there, I thought of baked, melting apples… then I thought of butterscotch… and then of *salted* butterscotch. It became an obsession: making brown butter apple blondies and topping them off with a salted butterscotch glaze.
These are the very definition of decadence. It may have become my favorite apple season dessert! The flavor of apples is very present, the texture of the nutty cake is almost molten, and the salted butterscotch glaze is frankly just out of this world. You might want to spread it on your morning toast! This is a very sweet dessert that will also please those who claim they don’t like dessert too much because of the way it balances sweet and salty. Be advised: you eat a small piece of these Brown Butter Apple Blondies, and then you’ve got to go for seconds and thirds. And it’s okay because it’s a special dessert for special occasions. Bring it to a potluck or a birthday party and I promise you’ll be the star of the event!
Making Brown Butter
You may think browning butter is a superfluous step, but I assure you it’s a worthwhile one, especially when making blondies. Browning butter evaporates the excess water contained in butter, which then allows the milk solids to brown. Brown butter adds an irresistibly nutty, toasted flavor to sweet and savory dishes—try it once and I bet you’ll want to make it again and again! If you’ve never browned butter before, you might be wary of the process but you shouldn’t be: it’s quick and effortless. My advice is to use a light-colored saucepan so you can keep a close eye on the butter changing as it boils away.
How to Make Brown Butter Video
Brown butter is an essential ingredient in blondies. Browning butter is an effortless French technique that turns regular butter into an incredibly aromatic, sophisticated ingredient you can use in savory and sweet dishes. Learn how to make it by watching my short how-to video!
To brown the butter: Heat the butter in a small stainless steel pot over medium heat until completely melted and simmering. Keep on cooking over medium-low heat, swirling the pot from time to time. If the butter bubbles up preventing you from watching closely over the color changing (that’s the water evaporating), lift the pot off the heat for a few seconds until the bubbles recede, then put it back on the heat.The butter is ready when the milk solids at the bottom of the pot turn a light brown color and the concoction gives off a delicious nutty aroma. When it does, remove the butter from the heat, pour into a small bowl, and let it cool completely. Watch my short video to see how easy it is to make brown butter.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.
Add the brown sugar to the mixing bowl containing the brown butter. Using a hand mixer, beat the sugar and brown butter together for 2 minutes to thoroughly incorporate. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate before adding the next one. Beat until light in color, about 3 minutes. Add the Calvados or Cognac, if using, and vanilla extract, and beat to incorporate. Add the reserved flour mixture and mix just to incorporate. Using a spatula, fold in the diced apple and chopped pecans. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. The mixture will be quite thick so you’ll need to use a spatula to spread it to the edges of the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is set and the edges are golden brown. Set the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely.
For the salted butterscotch glaze: In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, cream, and salt over medium heat, stirring from time to time. When the butter is melted, raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep on whisking for 1 minute. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Add ¼ cup (60 ml) of the powdered sugar, whisking until incorporated. Gradually add more powdered sugar, whisking constantly to incorporate. The glaze is ready to use as-is: at room temperature, the glaze will be pourable and beautifully drip to the sides of the brown butter apple blondies. If you're looking for a thicker glaze that you can spread as a frosting, refrigerate the glaze for 1 hour before using.
SERVING: You can either drizzle or spread the brown butter apple blondies with the glaze before cutting them into squares, or cut the blondies into squares, then drizzle each portion with the glaze, to taste.Either way, always serve the brown butter apple blondies at room temperature. If they're stored in the refrigerator, take them back out to room temperature about 20 minutes before serving. If you did not store the blondies with the glaze on, you can even rewarm them in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 5 minutes to return them to their freshly baked glory. Warm up up the salted butterscotch glaze for a few seconds in the microwave, stir, then drizzle over the blondies.
STORAGE: You can refrigerate the brown butter apple blondies for up to 3 days, or freeze them for up to 1 month. The salted butterscotch glaze can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. It's best to freeze the blondies without the salted butterscotch glaze on to avoid them turning soggy during the thawing process.
Did you make this?
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