Cook's Illustrated's Blondies

By • May 20, 2014 • 28 Comments

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Author Notes: These are the blondies you'll become known for. A few notes: The key to their flavor is the heavy dose of vanilla -- don't skimp, and don't use artificial extract. Err on the side of under-baking. These are delicious cold from the freezer or fridge (and easiest to slice that way). Adapted slightly from Cook's Illustrated (July 2005).Genius Recipes

Makes 36

  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts (4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter ( 1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces white chocolate chips (1 cup) or chopped bar, or 3 ounces each white chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350° F. Spread nuts on large rimmed baking sheet and bake until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer nuts to cutting board to cool; chop coarsely and set aside.
  2. While nuts toast, line a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with foil, leaving enough overhang to help you lift the blondies from the pan when they're done. [Here are Cook's Illustrated's measurements, but you can just wing it: Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet (if using extra-wide foil, fold second sheet lengthwise to 12-inch width).] Grease foil-lined pan with butter or oil.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in medium bowl until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in chocolate and nuts and turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.
  5. Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes; do not overbake. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan by lifting foil overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.
Jump to Comments (28)

Comments (28) Questions (1)

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3 months ago Cari Godbois

This recipe confuses me:
1 cup is not 4 oz nor is 6oz, 1 cup! 1.5 cups of flour is 12oz not 7.5. I don't understand! Can anyone clarify?

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3 months ago Maggie Muggins

You're thinking in terms of liquid, where one cup of water equals 8 ounces, but different things weigh different amounts. One cup of nuts will weigh a different amount then one cup of flour, and even that can change depending how tightly packed the cup is.

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4 months ago Jtcmd27

I have made these before and they were phenomenal. I went to make them today, and realized that I was out of white chocolate chips. I have a batch in the oven made with mini peanut butter cups and roasted peanuts instead....I'm sitting in the kitchen, waiting for the timer to sound!

Stringio

4 months ago Shelley Hamlin

I have made these several times.
I brought them to a work pot luck. We haven't even had lunch and my double batch is almost gone.
They are now being labled "crack blondies." AMAZING.

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5 months ago Rebecca Clarizio

Just made these today to bring to a bbq tomorrow. Had to try one, obviously. They are amazing & addictive! Definitely going to be my new go-to baked good.

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5 months ago Leslie

How do you freeze them?

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5 months ago Leslie

How do you freeze them?

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6 months ago Grace

Made with dark brown sugar (only sugar in the house today) they were a bit too molassesy, just in case anyone else is too lazy to go to the store.

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6 months ago Joanne Bayly

I made these yesterday. Chopped up all my daughter's leftover Easter chocolate instead of chocolate chips. Very yummy. Though I ended up using a 9 x 9 pan...and it was perfect.

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6 months ago LeeLeeBee

I made these last night and they are great - sweeter than desserts I typically make, but I can see these being a big hit at picnics and potlucks. I cooked mine a bit too long - heed the instructions that they don't really turn golden brown, the top just gets shiny and cracked.

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6 months ago John Oakley

made these yesterday and they are over-the-top delicious! wouldn't change a thing.

Stringio

6 months ago rosinav

I made these today and they are delicious! I used half white chocolate and half mini chocolate chips. Toyed with the idea of using macadamia nuts but decided to go with my favorite, pecans. Maybe next time, as there will be a next time:)

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6 months ago LuckyandRusty Shankle

I made these today w out the nuts, I substituted candied ginger and used all choc chips. Thank you for the enlightenment about vanilla!!! What a difference. This is lick the spatula worthy!

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6 months ago Joanne

Mine are in the oven now. I just happened to notice that the measurements (ounces) don't jive with the ingredients amounts. i.e. one Cup is not 4 ozs....etc.
and 1 1/2 C is not 10 1/2 ozs. I'll have to
see how they come out! ?

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6 months ago Heidi

If you firmly pack 1 1/2 cup of brown sugar, it weighs exactly 10 1/2 ounces

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6 months ago Phyllis Grant

oh yes yes yes

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6 months ago Nancy

I have made these many times since the recipe was first published and they are indeed fantastic! I use only one sheet of heavy duty foil so the Blondies can be lifted out of the pan in one piece, this makes cutting them much easier (and I don't have to wash the pan). They freeze great.

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6 months ago Lauren D

If I did not add the nuts, would I need to increase any of the other ingredients to make up for it? If so, which one(s) would you recommend and by approx how much?

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3 months ago Rhonda35

no - they'll be fine, with or without the nuts - no adjustments needed.

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6 months ago Nancy

Can you use vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract? If so, is it the same measurements? I would think paste may be more concentrated but I've never cooked with it before.

Stringio

6 months ago riv

These were yummy and easy! I made them in a disposable pan, greased and they came right out. Not sure why it calls for lining with foil; I think these have enough butter in them to come out of any pan. I also subbed coconut oil for the butter and chopped chocolate chunks instead of chips. Pretty addictive... I think this one's a keeper.

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6 months ago Joanne

Thanks T. Weiser, for the explanation & referrals about Vanilla Paste!

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6 months ago Chris Cook

It's nice to see weight measurements in a food52 recipe. Thanks!