Butter Pecan Blondies

Blondies are easy to make and easy to customize. Start with a basic batter and pick flavors that you like for your add-ins, then stir it all up, pour it into a pan, and bake. Simple, low-maintenance, and delicious – three of my favorite things! Just remember to keep your stir-in portions under control; you don’t want to crowd your dough too much, and you can always sprinkle more of the add-ins on top for extra flavor and texture; that’s what I always do.

Blondies are also a wonderful option for those living chocolate-free lives like me. I’ve always been a huge fan of butterscotch, so I’ve been thinking about a butterscotch blondie for a while now. Then I remembered the amazing combination of butterscotch chips, toffee bits, and pecans from these butter pecan cookies I made a while back, and it seemed like a great idea for blondies, too. I’m pleased to say that they turned out very well, with excellent texture and flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butterscotch chips, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons toffee bits, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, divided

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan completely with foil and lightly spray with baking spray.

Reserve 2 tablespoons each of the butterscotch chips, toffee bits, and chopped pecans for sprinkling on top of your batter; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and brown sugar; mix well to combine.

Add melted butter and stir to incorporate slightly; add eggs and vanilla extract and stir well to fully combine. The dough will be fairly dry, so you’ll want to use your hands to fully incorporate your ingredients.

Add 1/4 cups each of the butterscotch chips, toffee bits, and chopped pecans; stir very well, using your hands if necessary to fully incorporate the ingredients.

Press dough into the prepared pan, then sprinkle the top with the remaining chips/bits/nuts and press them into the dough.

Bake for 23-25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then lift out by the foil and place on a wire rack; peel foil back slightly and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, remove foil entirely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 24.

Advertisements

Candy Blondies

For most of my life, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were my favorite candy. Now that I can’t eat chocolate because of migraines, I’m delighted to see that Reese’s offers a white peanut butter cup. And while I’d never really been a fan of white chocolate, it’s a wonderful alternative for migraineurs like me.

The recipe below combines two of my favorites: white peanut butter eggs and miniature Reese’s Pieces. You could mix whatever candy you like into these blondies; the recipe is one of the best I’ve found, and I’ve made it with both peanut and regular M&Ms before. Next time I make these, I might melt some peanut butter chips and drizzle it over the top, just for an extra bit of peanut butter goodness, or include peanut butter chips in the batter. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 Reese’s White Peanut Butter Eggs, chopped
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons miniature Reese’s Pieces

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan completely with foil and lightly spray with baking spray.

Reserve 1 cup of chopped peanut butter eggs and 1/3 cup miniature Reese’s pieces for mixing into the batter; save the remaining portions for pressing onto the top.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and brown sugar; mix well to combine.

Add melted butter and stir to incorporate slightly; add eggs and vanilla extract and stir well to fully combine. The dough will be fairly dry, so you’ll want to use your hands to fully incorporate your ingredients.

Add 1 cup chopped peanut butter eggs and 1/3 cup miniature Reese’s Pieces and mix with your hands to combine well.

Press dough into the prepared pan, then sprinkle the top with the remaining candies and press them into the dough.

Bake for 23-25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for about 10-15 minutes, then lift out by the foil and place on a wire rack; peel foil back slightly and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, remove foil entirely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 24.

Pecan Blondies

pecan-blondieHow do you pronounce the word “pecan?” I say peh-con, with a short e-sound and so the “can” part it rhymes with lawn, while others say pee-can, with a long e-sound and so the “can” part rhymes with man. However you say it, this nut makes a delicious addition to baked goods, especially when toasted.

If you’ve never toasted pecans before, fear not. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place them on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Pecans need to toast for about 8-10 minutes, but other nuts, like slivered almonds, will need less time, say 6-8 minutes or so. Stir them a few times during baking, and keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. You’ll know they’re done when they’re darker in color and very fragrant, and you want to let them cool before you use them.

This treat reminds me a bit of the cinnamon-roasted pecans you can find at Christmas and is adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens Baking Book “Make-it-Mine” Blondie recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 10 2/3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, and chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the sides. Spray lightly with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each. Add vanilla and stir to combine.

Add flour mixture in a few batches, stirring well to completely combine; the batter will become thick. Stir in pecans.

Pour mixture into prepared baking pan. Lightly spray your hands with baking spray and gently press the dough into the pan to create an even layer.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then lift out by the foil and allow to cool for another 10 minutes or so; you want to cut the blondies while they’re still warm. The tops will crack as you cut them, but that’s okay.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes 36 bars.

Scandinavian Blondies

scandanavian-blondiesMike gave me the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion for my birthday. Next to Boarman, the stone pig that my mom gave me last Christmas for our backyard, it’s my favorite gift I’ve ever gotten.

The Cookie Companion is a cookie baker’s bible, featuring variations on essentials from sugar cookies to bars and everything in between. I can honestly say that I intend to bake each recipe in its 400+ pages; with each one I read, I learn something new that I cannot wait to try.

These bars are adapted from the original King Arthur Flour recipe; I added lemon extract and lemon zest to the batter. They are delicious, both cakey and chewy, with a wonderful lemon almond flavor. If you’re not a lemon fan, you can skip the lemon altogether and just go with the traditional almond extract in the batter, or use a combination of almond and vanilla extracts.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 square baking pan.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs until light colored and thick. Add sugar and salt, continuing to beat until shiny and pale yellow.

Add extracts, melted butter, and 1/2 cup of the flour, folding in gently. Fold in remaining 1/2 cup of flour.

Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and are a very light golden color.

Remove from oven and cool in pan before cutting. Store at room temperature.

Makes 16 bars.

Pecan Chocolate Chip Toffee Blondies

pecan choc chip toffee blondiesBlondies provide a nice base for your favorite ingredients, and the mixing and matching possibilities are endless. Nuts and chocolate chips seem to be blondie staples, but you can go well outside the box if you like. Some of my ideas for future baking include dark chocolate chips and dried cranberries, Reese’s Pieces and M&Ms, plain toffee bits and semisweet chocolate chips…I could go on and on.

I paired three of my favorite ingredients – pecans, chocolate chips, and toffee bits – for these tasty treats. Next time I make this recipe, I’ll drizzle melted chocolate and sprinkle more toffee bits on top.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate toffee pieces

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan completely with foil and lightly spray with baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and brown sugar; mix well to combine.

Add melted butter and stir to incorporate slightly; add eggs and vanilla extract and stir well to fully combine. The dough will be fairly dry, so you’ll want to use your hands to fully incorporate your ingredients.

Add pecans, chocolate chips, and milk chocolate toffee pieces and mix with your hands to combine well.

Press dough into the prepared pan; if you like, sprinkle some extra chocolate chips and milk chocolate toffee pieces on the top, pressing them gently into the top of your dough.

Bake for 25-28 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then lift out by the foil and place on a wire rack; peel foil back slightly and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, remove foil entirely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.

M&M Blondies

M&MblondiesAs far as M&Ms go, I’m a peanut loyalist. The plain kind always just seemed too…well, plain…for me, but they do go very well in a variety of baked goods, though, including these blondies.

Blondies are a good option for bakers who want to feed a crowd, but also save time. Because they’re baked in one 9 x 13 pan, you can get at least three dozen squares (or four dozen, if you’re a bit more frugal with your cuts) in one swoop – which is very convenient for a party or a picnic. My recipe below uses about 3/4 of an 11.4 ounce package of fall-colored plain M&Ms, but you could use the whole package if you like. This would also be a great recipe for Reese’s Pieces, or a mix of candies.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups plain M&M candies

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan completely with foil and lightly spray with baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and brown sugar; mix well to combine.

Add melted butter and stir to incorporate slightly; add eggs and vanilla extract and stir well to fully combine. The dough will be fairly dry, so you’ll want to use your hands to fully incorporate your ingredients.

Add 1 cup of the M&Ms and mix with your hands to combine well.

Press dough into the prepared pan, then sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of candies and press them into the dough.

Bake for 23-25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then lift out by the foil and place on a wire rack; peel foil back slightly and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, remove foil entirely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies

ccpecanblondiesBetter Homes & Gardens must have the most awesome test kitchens ever, because their recipes always work. Every. Single. Time.

Every now and then, even those of us with semi-pro-level baking skills can have a disaster in the kitchen, and I usually attribute this to the recipe, rather than to the baker. Some recipes are unclear, or perhaps not as well-tested as they should be; sometimes the ratios are off, or the volume is wrong for the pan, or the flavor profile leaves a lot to be desired.

Not with BH&G, my friends. These folks know their stuff, and this recipe is yet another example. It is a “make it mine” blondie recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Baking, which Mike gave me for Christmas last year (along with some snazzy new spatulas and mini loaf pans). You can add whatever you like to the base, and I chose toasted pecans and chocolate chips. Next time, I might add a chocolate drizzle to the top, or mix in some toffee pieces as well.

Ingredients

  • 10 2/3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with foil, extending foil over the sides. Lightly grease foil.

In a medium saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture melts and becomes smooth.

Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

Once butter/sugar mixture has cooled slightly, add vanilla and eggs and mix well.

Add flour mixture and stir well to combine; batter will become fairly thick.

Add toasted pecans and chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread out into an even layer.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until top is a very light golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.

Cut into bars while still warm; when completely cool, remove from pan and store in an airtight container.