Brown Sugar Saucepan Blondies

September 11, 2018
11 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Makes 32 (21 ⁄4" × 11 ⁄2") blondies
Author Notes

Blondies—the fair-haired cousin of Brownies—likely originated during World War II due to the need to bake without rationed ingredients like chocolate and white sugar. It seems odd, I know, because packed as this treat is with butter, brown sugar, and eggs, it just doesn’t seem like a recipe in which you are doing without something you love.

Reprinted from AMERICAN COOKIE. Copyright © 2018 by Anne Byrn. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Tina Rupp. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. —Anne Byrn

What You'll Need
  • Vegetable shortening or butter and flour for prepping the pan
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1 ⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, if desired
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a 13" × 9" baking pan and set it aside.
  2. Place the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until melted. Add the brown sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the granulated sugar and stir until well combined, 1 minute. Let cool slightly.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl. Add a third of the flour mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine and bring down the temperature of the butter and sugar mixture, 30 seconds. Add half of the beaten eggs and the vanilla. Stir to combine, 30 seconds. Add another third of flour mixture, stir to combine, then add the rest of the eggs, then the last of the flour, and stir until smooth. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with pecans, if desired. Place the pan in the oven.
  4. Bake the blondies until nut brown around the edges and just firm in the center, 20 to 25 minutes. You do not want to overbake.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, and place it on a wire rack to cool. Score the blondies into pieces with a sharp knife. When completely cool, slice into pieces and serve. These blondies keep covered at room temperature for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Carlin
  • Cook
  • Lisa Dearen
    Lisa Dearen
  • FrugalCat
  • Louisa Keeler
    Louisa Keeler
Anne Byrn is the author of American Cake (Rodale, 2016), the history of cake in America, with recipes. She lives and bakes Nashville, TN.

16 Reviews

Kathryn S. January 19, 2019
OMG. I'm not a total novice, but how did anyone successfully do this in a cast iron skillet? It held the heat for so long after I removed it from the burner that even though I waited twice as long as instructed for cooling before adding the eggs, they immediately cooked as I was stirring into the pan and did not integrate into the batter. This resulted in scrambled eggs in the middle of the blondie. I have never experienced a more disgusting complication while baking. What did I do wrong here.
Franca June 7, 2022
Hi, nowhere does it say to use a cast iron skillet.
Carlin November 16, 2018
I just made these for the second time and added some finely diced apple (from 3 small honeycrisp I needed to use up) which I mixed with cinnamon, in addition to the chopped pecans (maybe less than a cup of chopped nuts). I made these once before per the directions and feel confident these will cut nicely and be a nice autumnal dessert for a party tonight. Apple pecan bars? Has anyone else made these with other additions? I’d love to know the author’s thoughts....
Reina October 26, 2018
This looks amazing. Wondering if anyone has tried it gluten-free? Maybe GF blend with a little bit (25%?) of almond flour to keep it tender? GF blend flours can make these types of bars a bit rubbery... Thanks!
Cook October 5, 2018
This recipe looks lovely, but I want to try it with browned butter... ! I too will be using a cast iron skillet, I'm gathering that a 10" cast iron is not going to be big enough. (78" area vs 117" for a 9x13)... so reserve some for a smaller skillet and make 2 of them. (Forgive my math... I had to go looking for help. LOL )
Cook October 5, 2018
I have had blondies over the years, but one of my favorites had browned butter in it. I am thinking I would try that with this recipe - it looks simply delicious! I will let all know regarding the skillet, I don't have a baking pan at the moment, but I've done everything I've needed in my cast iron... it's a lovely tool!!!
Lisa D. October 3, 2018
I have a very similar family recipe made with chocolate chips, but for some reason we call them Congo bars. They are always a huge hit!
FrugalCat October 3, 2018
Made these with brown sugar and turbinado sugar. I used walnuts instead of pecans. Came out great and really like not having to wash an extra bowl.
Danee K. October 13, 2018
Did you simply brown the butter before adding and no other recipe changes? That sounds delicious and I think I will give that a go.
Laurie G. September 30, 2018
I’m not fond of pecans. Could there be made with chocolate chips? Thank you.
Anne B. September 30, 2018
Absolutely! Chocolate chips work. You can make these without any fold-ins, too.
Lauren D. September 28, 2018
I just made these and they are so delicious!! Followed the recipe exactly and they’re perfect. I will definitely make these again (and again).
Anne B. September 28, 2018
Lauren, so glad you like them! They are from my new book, American Cookie. And they freeze really well!
Louisa K. September 12, 2018
Could you do this in a (large) cast iron skillet and just move it from the stovetop to the oven?
Anne B. September 12, 2018
Hi Louisa, I think that is a great idea! Fewer pans, plus the edges of the Blondie will get nice and chewy after baking in an iron skillet.
Kaja1105 October 1, 2018
If anyone does try this, I would love to know what size skillet and how it turns out!