My husband doesn’t like cake, and since we usually celebrate his birthday in places that sell something he most definitely likes, beer, cake isn’t ideal anyway. I wondered what I should make–some kind of cookie?–but then it came to me, blondies. Buttery, classic, and simple, they would be just the thing.
But once I checked out a few recipes , it became clear that these old standby’s were ready for something new, something nuanced. And that’s when the inspiration struck for these slightly gooey, brown butter blondies with salt. They sound so fancy and sophisticated, right? Well, they are, but kids love them too. And the plate I brought to the party was quickly devoured.
I offered a couple to our bartenders, and one of them dug in, but the other just took half of a blondie. Before I could steal away with the plate though, he requested the other half. Just as I suspected.
The other awesome thing about these is that they’re a total breeze to make. Next time you need to impress somebody, or just give your taste buds something special, give these little blondies a try.
Brown Butter Salted Blondies (adapted from The Joy of Cooking)
8 tablespoons butter, browned
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup granulated sugar plus 1-2 tablespoons for top
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt plus a few pinches more for the top
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally grease a 9 x 13” baking dish and set aside.
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the butter over medium heat. Stir frequently as it bubbles and froths. After several minutes the butter will begin to turn golden–at this point keep a very close eye and edge the heat down slowly. When the butter takes on a very light brown hue and starts to smell nutty, remove from heat and stir to cool. Add the sugars and stir well. Set the butter and sugar mixture aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, ginger, baking powder and soda, and salt. When the butter mixture has cooled, stir in the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla, and then fold into the dry ingredients–the batter will be quite thick. Stir just until combined, spoon into the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with reserved sugar and several good-size pinches of salt, and bake for 25 – 27 minutes. Just until the top is crackled and the sides have set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven, cool for 5 – 10 minutes, cut into tiny 1 1/2” squares, and remove to a platter to cool completely. Once the blondies have mostly cooled, store in an airtight container for several days.