Butter Pecan Blondies

Butter pecan is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. This flavor combination is also absolutely perfect in a buttery blondie. This easy recipe uses pantry staples to create a quick dessert without even using a mixer!

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I omitted the rum and substituted an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract in its place. I baked mine long enough to achieve light golden brown color but may increase the baking time next time to heighten the depth of flavor.

  • 1 1/2 cups whole raw pecans
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups light-brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum, optional (can substitute 1 additional tsp of vanilla extract)
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until fragrant, 6 to 7 minutes. Let cool, then chop.
  3. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter (or coat with cooking oil spray), then dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together butter and 2 cups brown sugar until combined.
  6. Add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture; whisk until combined. Add vanilla and rum.
  7. Fold in flour mixture with a spatula until just combined (do not overmix).
  8. Fold in half of nuts.
  9. Transfer batter to prepared dish; smooth top with an offset spatula.
  10. Sprinkle top with remaining nuts and 2 tablespoons brown sugar.
  11. Bake until golden around edges and a tester inserted in center comes out with very few crumbs, 22 to 24 minutes. (Watching carefully- Next time I may increase the baking time up to 28 to 30 minutes.)
  12. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Note: Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Variations: If you’d rather not use rum, increase the amount of vanilla to 4 teaspoons.

S’mores Blondies

I first made this crowd-pleasing dessert for our last summer beach day and sunset before the start of school. I’ve already made them again! Insanely delicious.

The bars are not overly sweet and they have an amazing texture. I weighed the dry ingredients to ensure perfection. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Erin Jeanne McDowell. I modified the method. Fabulous!!

Yield: 24 blondies
  • nonstick cooking oil spray
  • 9 whole graham crackers (about 135 grams), or store-bought graham cracker crumbs (about 1 cup)
  • 1 ¼ cups/160 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup/225 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 packed cup/220 grams dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces/225 grams bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into chunks (I used 78% cacao Lindt)
  • 2 ½ cups/150 grams mini marshmallows
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, and arrange oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  2. Coat the inside of a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches of excess parchment on the long sides of the pan. (The excess will help you pull the blondies out later.)
  3. If using whole graham crackers, add them to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they form a fine powder. Alternately, you could put the crackers in a large resealable plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin, then add them to the bowl. If using store-bought crumbs, add them directly to the food processor.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the crumbs, and pulse a few times to combine.
  5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time and mix on medium speed until well incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  7. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  8. Turn the mixer to low and add the graham crumb mixture and mix just to combine.
  9. Add about ¾ of the chocolate to the mixer and mix to incorporate.
  10. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Use damp hands or a small offset spatula to press the dough into an even layer.
  11. Bake on the lower rack until the bars are golden at the edges and the surface has a crackly appearance, 25 minutes on convection or about 30 minutes in a standard oven.
  12. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over the surface. Sprinkle the reserved chocolate on top of the marshmallows and return the pan to the top rack of the oven.
  13. Bake until the marshmallows have softened and are lightly toasted and the chocolate is melted and gooey, 10 to 14 minutes.
  14. Remove the pan from the oven. If any of the marshmallows have puffed up, use a toothpick or skewer to puncture them; they will deflate easily.
  15. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool, 45 minutes.
  16. Using a thin knife, slide the blade between the blondies and the pan on the short sides of the pan, then use the parchment sling to carefully remove the blondies.
  17. Let cool another 10 minutes, then slice into 24 even pieces and serve.

Milk Bar Sugar Cookie-Cake Squares

My word. These were yummy. Easy too. We had them as part of our Memorial Day cookout along with a skillet chocolate chip cookie– and ice cream, of course! All-American, right? 😉

This recipe was adapted from Milk Bar Life by Christina Tosi, via the Washington Post. Apparently, these cookie squares are known as “The Greta” (named after Tosi’s mother) at Momofuku Milk Bar. They would be perfect with red (or even red, white, and blue!) sprinkles for the Fourth of July. I opted to top them with cinnamon sugar which is another tasty option. 🙂

Yield: 2 dozen 2-inch cookie-cakes

  • 2 sticks, 16 T, unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 to 4 T decorative sprinkles or sparkling sugar OR 1 T granulated sugar mixed with 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Generously grease a 9 x 13-inch deep sided baking pan with butter. Line with parchment paper- hanging over all sides of the pan. Coat the parchment paper with cooking oil spray.
  3. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high-speed for 3 minutes, until fluffy and homogenous. Stop to scrape down the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-low speed for 1 minute, or until just combined. Stop to scrape down the bowl.
  5. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Beat on medium-low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, then add the milk and beat for about 30 seconds to form a soft dough.
  6. Using an offset spatula, spread the dough evenly in the pan, making sure it gets into the corners.
  7. Scatter the cinnamon-sugar or sprinkles on top generously.
  8. Bake on the center rack for 20 (if you desire a slightly under-baked in the center cookie) to 30 minutes (for a firmer cookie), or until the cookie slab has puffed, lightly browned and is firm to the touch.
  9. Cool completely in the pan.
  10. Using the parchment paper, remove cookie the cookie from the pan. Cut into 24 two-inch squares.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Biscoff Blondies

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So, my buddy said, “Who likes blondies? Why can’t you make brownies like a normal person?”  I have to put up with such comments in order to eat a delicious dinner at her house… 🙂 Dessert is not the focal point of a meal (in her world…), so I feel compelled to contribute a dessert to her dinner parties. I will have you know that she enjoyed these very much and kept the two leftover blondies to enjoy for breakfast the next morning. She may be a convert! 🙂

These blondies were moist, sweet, and tasty but not as “Biscoffy” as I had expected. We gobbled them up nonetheless!! This recipe was adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction, via Jhuls of thenotsocreativecook.wordpress.com.

Yield: Makes 16 Blondies

  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons (1/3 cup or 75g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Biscoff spread
  • 1 1/4 cups (225g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir the melted butter and brown sugar together until combined.
  4. Whisk in the egg and egg yolk, then add the vanilla. Stir in the cookie spread.
  5. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Be careful not to overmix, which will result in crumbly, hard blondies. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes (on convection) to 25-26 minutes (standard oven). The blondies may appear very soft, but they will set up as they cool. Allow the blondies to cool completely- about 3 hours – before cutting into squares.

Note: Recipe may easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan for approximately 35 minutes. Blondies stay fresh at room temperature for 1 week.

IMG_9655

One Year Ago:

Chocolate Chip & Walnut Blondies

IMG_5965

Typically, I am a rule follower (first-born child, etc, etc). My husband was going to our neighborhood meeting and we were on the “bring an appetizer” half of the neighborhood list. The other half of the neighborhood was on the “bring a dessert” list. Because it was so much faster to throw together a quick and tasty dessert, I made these blondies to contribute to the meeting. What a rebellious moment! 🙂 We had to sample them before sharing, of course, and they were great. This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. I have also made them with hazelnuts.

  • Yield: Makes 16
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled) (can substitute 1/2 white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or hazelnuts)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking pan with butter or cooking spray; line pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter (or spray) paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in 1/2 cup each chocolate chips and walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and walnuts.
  3. Bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 (on convection) to 45 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 16 squares.
Note: Store blondies in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Brown-Butter Toffee Blondies

We have been taking a break from desserts – these were worth the wait. I have been desperate to make these blondies ever since I saw the recipe. Now that I have finally made them, we were not disappointed. We LOVED them! We ate them warm from the oven – gooey and DELICIOUS. They just might be the best blondies I have ever made. This recipe is from MarthaStewart.com.

  • Yield: Makes about 1 dozen
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees on convection. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter parchment paper. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine browned butter and both sugars; stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
  5. Attach bowl to mixer; add eggs. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add vanilla, and beat to combine.
  7. Add flour mixture, walnuts, and toffee bits. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.
  8. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 minutes on convection, or up to 40 minutes in a standard oven. (Do not overbake!).
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before turning out of pan onto a cutting board. Peel off parchment paper; cut blondies into 3-inch squares or with 1 1/2- to 2-inch cookie cutters.
  10. Just before serving, dust half with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Back to School Blondies

We started making these blondies for Halloween using red, brown, orange and yellow m&m’s.  Because my kids love making them (& eating them) we have changed the color theme to transform them into Christmas and Easter blondies as well.  This year, when I asked the kids what they wanted for a special dessert after their first day of school it was a unanimous BLONDIES! Festive and delicious.

This recipe for Halloween Blondies is from Everyday Food.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more, room temperature, for pan
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup each red, orange, yellow, and brown candy-coated chocolates (from a 12.6-ounce bag)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees on convection. Brush an 9-inch square baking pan with butter; line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter paper. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together butter and sugars until smooth.
  3. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add flour and salt; stir just until moistened.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Arrange candies in 12 rows (about 12 per row, 2 rows per color, repeating once) on top of dough. 
  6. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes on convection, or up to 50 minutes in a standard oven. Set pan on a wire rack and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 16 squares.

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