Been Baking: Blondies

Taking a break from my self-imposed break to tell you about these blondies, because I need to have them in my life and I just might forget how to make them again if I don't write about them somewhere.

My new baking strategy is use what you have and make it work. So thank God for the Internet and Google. I've been wanting to make Food for the Gods, which someone told me were blondies with mutes, but we were out of nuts, so I decided to make blondies. Then it turns out we didn't have vanilla, but—thank you, Google—it wasn't too hard to find a suitable substitute: almond extract.

So these are a take on the wonderful Simply Recipes' blondies, with the recipe doubled, the butter browned and the vanilla swapped with lovely almond extract.


1 cup brown butter
2 cups tightly packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. almond extract (or 2 tsp. vanilla—or 1 vanilla, 1/2 almond. Experiment!)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt (well, two pinches)


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheight. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Make brown butter by melting butter than allowing to cook until caramel-colored, being careful not to burn it. This was my first time making brown butter, so I erred on the side of golden-brown versus amber, or am-burnt. Pour into a medium mixing bowl.
Add sugar to butter. Whisk until combined. Feel guilty, then get over it.
Add egg and almond extract to the butter mix.
Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not overbeat. If adding nuts or other goodies, now would be the time.
Pour and spread into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. Allow to cool in pan. Transfer from pan when cool.

The result

I think the brown butter plus the dark brown sugar brought out the caramel side of this blondie—she's almost a brunette. I'm glad not having vanilla didn't stop me from making these. As I've said before, not following the recipe to the letter—and not freaking out about substitutions and alterations—is new to me. The more I bake and make mistakes, the more I'm learning to accept that a bad batch is not the end of the world. But a good batch could be a revelation!

Notes to Self for Next Time

These came out delicious, but definitely crunchier than I expected or wanted. We had to rush out for an appointment right after they came out of the oven, so they were left to cool in the pan, probably baking a bit more in the residual heat. I also want to try the many "how to not make your brownie edges crispy" solutions of the Internet, like lining the pan with parchment paper or cooling the pan in a bigger pan filled with water to stop the baking process. Any other suggestions for this baking enthusiast would be most welcome.