The other day B and I had a relatively low key day. We got up and picked up some coffee (and a donut)....walked up a little and then all the way across town to get, yup, another donut. Walking back across town, we stopped at my most favorite cheese shop in Little Italy and bought provisions for dinner that night, then ended up at Whole Foods to buy the rest of the dinner stuff and some stuff for me to make blondies...because clearly after two donuts (I guess it was technically one each, but still), baking anything is clearly the logical thing to do...
See, I had been copying down A LOT of recipes that I had been coming across lately, and one of them was for blondies. They were touted as being some of -- if not -- the best out there, so I figured I'd take a stab at them. Except I don't like nuts in my baked goods, so I left those out. And ever since I made those browned butter brown sugar cookies, I've been more than a wee bit obsessed with browned butter...and since these blondies called for melted butter anyway, I figured why not brown the butter, too? Which was, frankly, a delicious idea!
I wanted my blondies a little thicker than the recipe called for, so I made mine in an 9 x 9 inch pan, and then left out some of the batter (to attempt something, which didn't work out exactly as I had hoped). This yielded a chewy, thick, delicious blondie! So delicious and rich, in fact, that I had to send the rest of the pan to work with B to get them out of the apartment!
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, Found at Food52.com
1.5 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted, browned, and cooled
1.5 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tsp (yup, you read that right!) vanilla extract
6-8 oz white chocolate chips (1 cup) or chopped bar, or 3-4 oz each white chocolate chips and semisweet chocolate chips (use smaller amounts if using nuts; if leaving out the nuts, use the higher amounts)
1 cup pecans or walnuts (4 oz), optional
If using nuts, put the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Preheat to 350F,
Spread nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until deep golden brown, 10-15 minutes.
Transfer to cutting board to cool.
Chop coarsely and set aside.
While the nuts toast, line a 9x13 inch baking pan with foil, leaving enough overhand to help you lift the blondies out of the pan when they're done.
Grease the foil-lined pain with butter or oil.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
Whisk browned butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl until combined.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just combined -- do not overmix.
Fold in chocolate (and nuts, if using....I did not).
Turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with a rubber spatula.
Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22-25 minutes.
Do not overbake.
Cool on a wire rack until room temperature.
Remove bars from pan by lifting by foil overhang.
Transfer to cutting board.
Cut into 2 inch squares and serve.