The Ultimate Potluck Dessert: Brown Butter Blondies Any Way You Like Them

updated Jan 21, 2020
christmas
Brown Butter Blondies

These big batch blondies are infinitely adaptable — just add your favorite mix-ins!

Makes16 bars

Prep25 minutes

Cook22 minutes to 25 minutes

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Credit: Olive & Mango

Let’s talk about potluck desserts. When you’re baking for a crowd, it can be tempting to go all out — taking on a fancy layer cake or complex pie. But years of potlucks have taught me that most people don’t need or even want all that fuss, and are more than happy to pick up a classic like a chocolate chip cookie, brownie, or the infinitely adaptable blondie.

Blondies are the ultimate potluck dessert because they’re even better baked in a big batch (and don’t require individual shaping, like cookies do), you can use up whatever bits of chocolate or nuts or dried fruit in your pantry, and, frankly, everyone loves them. You can even wrap up an extra blondie and transport it home safely in your pocket. This recipe hits all the high notes — crisp edge pieces, chewier centers, lots of buttery, toffee-like flavor (thanks to brown butter) — and every single one of them will be eaten (or snuck home) at your next potluck.

Credit: Olive & Mango

Blondies Any Way You Like Them

I’m a big fan of classic chocolate chip blondies — whenever I make them, I feel like I beat the system and got all the joy of cookies with half the effort. Kitchn’s Editor-in-Chief, Faith, can’t stop raving about blondies topped with King Arthur’s cinnamon bits. And recently I had a cherry and white chocolate blondie at a bakery that I can’t stop thinking about. Clearly, blondies can take many delicious forms, so consider this recipe a blank canvas for whatever flavor (or combination of flavors) strikes your fancy — or whatever is in the pantry. Just remember to chop large add-ins, like apricots or dates, before adding them to the batter.

This isn’t the fastest blondie recipe, but for good reason. Browning the butter — and letting it cool — before baking the blondies adds extraordinary flavor and makes for a more tender, crisp exterior. Also, because this recipe makes a big batch (16 bars!) it bakes best in a 9×13-inch pan and takes longer to bake than the classic 8×8-inch pan of blondies does.

For serving, I just slip the slab of blondies out of the baking pan using the parchment paper sling, cut them on the parchment, and return the cut blondies, parchment and all, to the pan for transporting.

Brown Butter Blondies

These big batch blondies are infinitely adaptable — just add your favorite mix-ins!

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 22 minutes to 25 minutes

Makes 16 bars

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks

    (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 11/2 cups

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1 3/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 cups

    mix-ins: chocolate chips, pretzel pieces, nuts, dried fruit such as golden raisins or cherries

Instructions

  1. Cut 2 sticks unsalted butter into large pieces. Melt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally — at first, it will simmer and look foamy, then the foam will subside and the solids at the bottom will begin to brown, 10 to 12 minutes total.

  2. Scrape the browned butter and the solids at the bottom into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, transfer into a large heatproof bowl and use an electric hand mixer). Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. If you’re using any add-ins that require chopping (like chocolate bars, pretzels, or nuts), now is a great time to chop them.

  3. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper so the parchment hangs off the two long slides to form a sling.

  4. Add 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar to the butter. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add 2 large eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until the mixture is lightened in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

  5. Add 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt and beat at low speed for 1 minute. Add 2 cups mix-ins to the batter and fold in by hand with a large, wide spatula.

  6. Scrape the thick batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake until the edges are browned and the top is crackled and shiny, 22 to 25 minutes.

  7. Cool the blondies in the pan for 10 minutes. Then just slip the slab of blondies out of the baking pan using the parchment paper sling, cut them on the parchment, and return the cut blondies, parchment and all, to the pan for transporting.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers keep well wrapped or in an airtight container for 4 days.