Browning Butter

Sunday, February 13, 2011
If you’re on a diet, stop reading right now.

I go through more butter, brown sugar and eggs than most people.  And even by my standards, this recipe seemed pretty rich.  A cup and a quarter of butter?  Two cups of brown sugar and three eggs?  It had better be delicious.  And I’d better not ruin it.

As usual, I started reading the directions after I’d started into the recipe.  And one of those directions called for me to brown butter.

I started melting it but, never having browned butter in my life, I thought it would be useful to know what the finished product should look like and why I was doing it.  Take a look here for a description and here for really useful photos.  I considered taking a photo of my own butter to post, but between googling “how to brown butter” and actually browning my own, I had my hands full. 

Let me say that the finished result was spectacular!  I always doubted the validity of browned butter as a cooking technique.  I assumed it was a fancy term for putting the butter on to melt and then wandering away to, oh I don’t know, google baking terminology.  But the flavour was beautiful and nutty, and definitely brought a new dimension to this recipe.  I almost regretted that I had substituted chocolate chips for the nuts, because I thought the flavour would shine through a little more without the distraction of chocolate.

Never fear.  If you’ve made it this far, with the abundance of butter (browned), brown sugar and eggs, you will adore these blondies.  With or without the distraction of chocolate.
  
I had lunch out a week ago with five dear friends to celebrate Jan and Carla’s birthdays.  Kim had organized it, but she couldn’t attend at the last moment because she fell on the ice and broke her wrist in two places.  As a consolation prize, I took her a plate of these blondies.  It’s not as good as lunch with your girlfriends, but hopefully it takes a little of the sting out.

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup toffee bits

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, or line the bottom with parchment paper. 

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine browned butter and both sugars; beat until combined. Add eggs and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour mixture, chocolate chips, and toffee bits. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.

Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack to cool before turning out of pan onto a cutting board. Peel off parchment paper; cut blondies into 3-inch squares. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

As if they’d last that long.


53 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

Well, I am constantly on a diet....LOL...but I wouldn't avoid eating browned butter.
Baked goods with browned butter taste so much better and richer.

Valerie said...

Welcome to the club, Beth! Once you've tried this magic substance known as brown butter, your life will forever be transformed. Don't be surprised if you find yourself itching to brown butter for all recipes from now on. :D

These look spectacular.

Katerina said...

So, I am on diet, what do you propose? They look spectacular, it is impossible to resist. Diet or not I think from time to time we can succumb to temptations like this one!

The Words Crafter said...

OH my gosh, my mouth is watering!!!!

Joanne said...

I try not to think about all of the butter I use on a weekly basis...but sometimes I just can't help it. And it gives me shivers.

These blondies look delicious, however! Well worth the butter, brown sugar, and eggs.

Claudia said...

I do make a browned butter sauce with herbs all the time - love the rich nutty flavor. This is wonderful with the toffee and having broken my foot too many times to remember - these brownies would have taken the edge off the discomfort!

My Little Space said...

I'm on diet but I don't care. All I want is just drooling over these delicious looking goodies. And salivate! :o) Hope you're having a wonderful day.
Cheers, Kristy

Joanne said...

I'd rate these brownies 4-Cups ;)

They look divine, and would only last hours in my house!

Faith said...

I am always on a diet too so I have to count what I eat. The blondies look great Beth.

Lea Ann said...

I've only browned butter a couple of times and always worry about the outcome, but it seems to work. These blondies look wonderful Beth.

Medeia Sharif said...

This looks heavenly.

I'm not a baker, so I don't have those ingredients. I frequent the bakery instead.

Grapefruit said...

I finally started my long-overdue diet & suddenly all I see in my google reader is decadent recipes.
I'm with you on the browned butter - everything always tastes better with it. These blondies look scrumptious.

Rita said...

Another one that I have to save; this looks and sounds fantastic! What a prefect dessert to have ready to serve when my boys come to visit. Thanks.
Rita

Carol said...

Who could resist? I'd love those!

julie said...

Oh how I love browned butter. The only thing that compares to the taste is the luscious smell! These blondies look absolutely decadent.

Ann said...

these look fantastic and deliciously decadent!

Belinda said...

Diet schmiet! Can't stop reading after brown butter AND toffee!

Mary said...

I love browned butter! i often brown butter even for recipes that don't call for it, as I love the rich flavour it gives. And also because I often get distracted while melting butter on the stove.
;)
I love blondies too, so I am bookmarking this recipe.

comfortablydomestic.com said...

I've never been a fan of blondies because they are always so dry. *These* blondies look amazingly moist and rich. Anything with that much butter & brown sugar has got to be good, so I think I must make these. You know, for research. ;)

Fresh Local and Best said...

That is such a great picture of your friends and you. These get togethers are so precious.

I know this recipe because I have tried it, and loved the decadent blondies that resulted. These are dangerous!

shaz said...

I often wonder what the people at the checkouts think when they see the bags of sugar, butter and flour in my trolley!

Like you, I initially thought browned butter was just a fancy term for "oops, I burnt the butter, but have since learnt it is definitely worth giving up the diet for.

Lovely photo of the lunching ladies.

Jess said...

What a sweet friend you are! I hope her wrist heals quickly. Thanks for the link for browning butter. It's something I don't do ofter, but the butter I buy is a little expensive, so I would hate to ruin it!

rita said...

What a thoughtful gift for Kim! And a lovely photo of a wonderful lunch. Thanks, Beth.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Diet or not - this sounds worth it! I've been wanting to dabble with the "brown butter" recipe idea and now you've given me the confidence.

Emily said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who goes through copious amounts of butter! Brown butter is really fabulous with pasta, especially butternut squash ravioli. Your blondies sound rich and delicious!

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

Mmmmmmmm. Browned butter!!! These look delicious!

allieksmith said...

I have always been nervous about browned butter because I feel as if I will burn it or something!! The brownies look divine :)

Angela Felsted said...

Mmmmmm, I have no aversion to butter and brown sugar. In fact, I think I'm in love with them. Someone save my waistline, please!

L'Aussie said...

Today I was going to try the 'no sugar' diet so whose blog did I discover? I've just put on a few kilos reading your recipes. This brown butter slice looks awesome. You're my kind of gal.

You like to travel too? Writing, travel, baking, the most beautiful trio. I loved your Morocco garden interlude. My husband and I are planning to go in a few months. Marrakech is on our itinerary so I will look out for this garden. Do you have any other tips for Morocco? We are doing the usual - Casablanca, Fez, Marrakech etc.

Denise:)

Monet said...

I just adore browned butter...it makes such a difference! These bars sound scrumptious. I may have to make them this afternoon! I'm glad you were able to celebrate your friendships....this is so important! Thank you for sharing. I hope you are having a day of sweet treats and love. Happy Valentine's!

J.C. Martin said...

Ooh yum yum yum! So much for my wedding diet...

Raina said...

These sound amazing. I really do wish I had one right now with my cup of tea. I have recently just discovered brown butter, using them in muffins and do think it is wonderful too. I know I would love these blondies with all of the yummy flavors in them. Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to making them. Your friend must have been thrilled:)

Beth said...

Denise, I'll be happy to send you a few suggestions about what we loved in Morocco. It was an amazing trip -- hope you enjoy the country too!

If any of you make the blondies, please let me know how they turn out! I must admit, they're now one of my favourites.

Pacheco Patty said...

I'm always on and off a diet so I kept reading,lol!
I saw all the butter in the recipe and I know it's scary but you have to use butter to make brown butter so what's a girl to do?
Thanks for sharing, I'll give them a try ;-)

Mary said...

These are really irresistible. I certainly couldn't refuse them if they were in the house. I hope you had a great weekend and have a super evening. Blessings...Mary

Reeni said...

The blondies sound positively delectable with the brown butter! Nothing compares to that distinct flavor. Sorry about your friend getting hurt - bet these helped her feel better!

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

As far as I'm concerned, diet or not, you're FAR better off eating Real Food (butter and sugar) than fake foods (margarine and splenda). It's a way of life, really.

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

These blondies sound delish!! I love browned butter in desserts! :)

5 Star Foodie said...

I would definitely be willing to break my diet for these scrumptious brownies, yum!

Emma said...

aaargh Beth! These look too scrumptious .... butter, brown sugar and eggs don't last too long at my place either tbh.

I'm with tenaciouslyyours actually, far better to eat natural food than fake stuff, that's my philosophy anyway!

Lovely pic of the girls too!

Domestic Goddess Wannabe said...

What a lovely 'get better soon' present. Mmmmmm...

jillbert said...

I was afraid that this recipe would call for an 8" square pan...that would be richer than rich! The toffee bits make these sound especially delicious!

Janet Johnson said...

Why didn't I listen?! You said to stop reading. You warned us! Now I'm going to have to make them and there goes my jogging for the day.

Diana's Cocina said...

These blondies are well worth the the butter. I will just need to run an extra mile in the morning. LOL! They sound delicious.

Julie Musil said...

Good grief, those look delicious! Every time I read your blog, I wish I live in your home. Butter makes almost everything taste better, and I'd love to sink my teeth into one of those blondies. Maybe I'll be adventurous and make them!

Amie Kaufman said...

I think my arteries just closed over reading that, but gosh, they sound delicious! Sorry I'm hopelessly absent just now--on holiday in NYC and having trouble finding time to get online between all the hijinks!

Table Talk said...

What a great shot of you and your friends! A great idea to capture the moment with your camera, so you will be able to look back and reminisce about days gone by, and those browned butter blondies-wow!

Barbara Kloss said...

I love your blog! All my favorite things...food, books, and travel!!

Barbara said...

I've been using browned butter in a lot of recipes recently. It makes an amazing difference in flavor. Someone recently did Rice Krispy treats using browned butter. I've been meaning to try that.
Your blondies look wonderful and I can imagine how fabulous they taste, Beth!

FOODESSA said...

I had used browned butter for cookies once and they too were very memorable. Will have to book mark these blondies to have an excuse to brown butter again ;o)

Beth, your friend is fortunate to have you in her life. You all are very blessed to have each other.

Have a great day,
Claudia

Barbara Bakes said...

This looks like it would be worth breaking a diet for!

Heather said...

I just love blondies; now I must make these - they look wonderful.

Jacque said...

mmmm, browned butter = awesome! and I can tell these blondies are awesome too. Wow, wish I had one right now :)

Post a Comment