Put just about any baked treat in front of me and I am happy, but there's something extra special about these seasonal blondies. The base is a classic blondie that's been seriously upgraded with the help of brown butter and a slew of chopped white chocolate. Fresh strawberry halves dot the surface — their sweet summer flavor concentrates and caramelizes in the oven, leaving you to bite into juicy, candy-like flavor in between bites of buttery, cookie-like goodness.
The Best Bar Cookie for Any and All Summer Affairs
These blondies are a welcome addition to any summer fling — be it a barbecue, pool party, picnic, or just an impromptu gathering of friends. They come together quickly and efficiently, allowing you to bake them up the morning of the event. White chocolate and brown butter add richness to the blondie batter, making this a fruit dessert that has some sturdiness, but there's plenty of juicy sweetness to keep each bite feeling light and summery.
Cooking spray or butter, for greasing the pan
(1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
packed light brown sugar
white chocolate, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
hulled and halved strawberries
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over two sides of the pan. Lightly grease the pan and parchment with cooking spray or butter.
Melt the butter in a light-colored, high-sided large skillet over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly.
As the butter melts, it will begin to foam. The color will progress from lemony-yellow to golden-tan to a toasty-brown. Once you smell that nutty aroma, immediately take the pan off the heat and scrape the butter, including any browned bits, into a large heatproof bowl.
Set aside the brown butter cool until cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. Add the brown sugar and use a wooden spoon to mix well until combined (the mixture will not be smooth), about 30 seconds. Stir in the egg and vanilla until completely combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just combined. Fold in the white chocolate chunks.
Spread the blondie batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula or your hands to press it out evenly. Arrange the strawberries cut-side down evenly over the top of the batter, and press them down gently.
Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. The edges should look firm and well-baked; the center should be moist but not gooey. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Grasp the excess parchment and lift the blondie slab out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.