Pet peeve #1. When people call blondies brownies.
This might seem petty, but it really irks me. Especially when I see the misuse in cookbooks or food magazines. These people should know better. Okay, so that you don't make the mistake, here's the distinction. Brownies are a baked bar with a texture between "cake" and "cookie" that uses a chocolate-based batter. Blondies are a baked bar with a texture between "cake" and "cookie" that uses a brown sugar-based batter. I know the definitions are remarkably similar. The big difference is the chocolate. Brownies are chocolate and blondies are not. End of story. Now you know (and knowing is half the battle. Thanks, G.I. Joe.).
If you love brownies, then you should love blondies, too. The texture is the same as a brownie -- a little bit cakey with a soft, gooey middle. I actually like blondies better. I love everything about them-- the chewyness, the brown sugar, the nuttiness, the sort of butterscotch-y flavor. They're also awesome with caramel and ice cream. My heart be still.
I have spent plenty of time on here in the past extolling the virtues of brown butter. You could skip the browning of the butter, but you shouldn't. It adds an extra layer of flavor. You can't really put your finger on it and I totally love that about it. If you need to know how to make it, please click here. Throw in some pecans, toffee bits, and almost obscene quantities of brown sugar and almond extract and you got a little bit of heaven in bar form.
Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
makes one 9x13 inch pan
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 cup milk chocolate toffee bits
Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a 9x13" baking dish with parchment paper or foil, extending the edges over the side of the pan. If you are using foil, spray it lightly with nonstick spray. In a medium saucepan, brown the butter until it is golden and fragrant. Immediately remove from the heat; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract on medium speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and, with the mixer still running, add the brown butter. Increase the speed back to medium and beat until the mixture is thick and smooth, about 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the brown sugar mixture on low speed until just combined (batter will be very thick). Stir in the pecans and toffee bits.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until the mixture is set around the edges and barely set in the middle. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Use the parchment or foil to lift the blondies out of the pan. Cut into bars. Store on an airtight container up to 3 days.