Don’t think of blondies as brownies without the chocolate – these chewy little squares are sweet like butterscotch and studded with toasted walnuts and melty dark chocolate pockets. I add a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt to balance the sweetness of the brown sugar, making these bars the best classic blondie recipe to come out of my kitchen.
This month on Joy the Baker, we’re exploring CLASSICS. I’m talking about those bookmarked recipes in my favorite cookbooks (aka every cookbook by Dorie Greenspan) or the butter-stained recipe cards in my mom’s handwriting we taped to the inside of the pantry cupboard in my parent’s kitchen. The almost memorized GOOD ONES.
Over the past 15 years I’ve had a propensity to do thinks like – add bacon to peanut butter cookies and then have the audacity to add ramen to rice krispie treats and sure, we’ve lived by a more is more mantra rather successfully. But this month we’re stripping it down to the basics of butter and sugar by sharing my very favorite classic baked goods.
First up: Classic Blondies. I think of these as thin and chewy cookie bars. Butterscotch forward (thank you, brown sugar) with a balance of dark chocolate, earthy walnuts, and sea salt. Let’s get into the good stuff!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this classic Blondie recipe:
• all-purpose flour though a gluten-free flour blend also works well.
• melted butter (I typically use unsalted butter in my baking but this recipe is also great with salted butter – just reduce the salt in the ingredient list by about half)
• brown sugar, light or dark
• powdered sugar
• large eggs
• vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
• baking powder
• dark chocolate chunks
• walnuts, though pecans are great if you prefer
Because blondies are a simple combination of ingredients, I like to treat the nuts with extra care. Walnuts are scientifically 1000% more delicious when toasted to golden. While the oven preheats, toast the walnuts until they’re fragrant and just starting to take on color.
In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
Let’s talk about sugar for this classic blondie recipe. Do you prefer dark brown sugar or light brown sugar? I always keep light brown sugar in the pantry but dark brown sugar will add even more of that caramely butterscotch flavor. I also chose powdered sugar over granulated sugar for this recipe. Powdered sugar has a bit of cornstarch in it and I like the way it creates a lightly crinkled top to the blondies.
In a separate bowl whisk together sugar and melted butter.
The sugars and butter whisk to a velvety mixture. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in the dry ingredients into a thick blondie batter. It’ll feel sticky – that’s exactly right.
Fold in your favor mix-ins: dark chocolate chips and toasted walnuts or toasted pecans, white chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips. Because we’re keeping it classic, less is more here. We aren’t going for full of Candy Bar Blondies.
I’ve tested my way around my ideal blondie and I will say, the baking pan is important. Most recipes call for an 8-inch square baking pan but I think that bakes too thick a blondie. I want my bar more thin and chewy in texture and the ideal pan is a rimmed quarter sheet pan that measure 9×13-inches.
Lining the pan with parchment paper (and grease the parchment paper lightly) will make the blondies easier to lift from the pan and slice.
Spread the blondie batter, edge to edge and dot with more dark chocolate, toasty walnuts, and wow a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
The blondies bake up to have golden brown edges and a dry, slightly wrinkled top. The flavor is caramel meets chocolate chip cookies. Chewy, nutty, perfectly sweet little squares.
Baker’s Law (which is something I’ve made up) indicates that the baker gets to eat the first warm blondie while standing at the kitchen counter for efforts put forth and quality control. After this lawful blondie, I like to serve these warm, on a small plate, with a petite scoop of vanilla ice cream. But because they are the best blondies, they’re nearly as satisfying served solo.
Can’t wait for you to bake these, friends! Let us know how you enjoy them in the comments below! xoPrint
My Best Classic Blondie Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20-24 minutes
- Total Time: 35-39 minutes
- Yield: 9-12 squares 1x
- Category: dessert, bars, brownies, blondies
- Method: baking
My very favorite blondie recipe – a butterscotch-y bar studded with toasted walnuts and chocolate chunks and topped with a generous sprinkle of sea salt.
- 1 cup (about 100 grams) walnut halves and pieces
- 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons, 179 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cup (250 grams) lightly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted if necessary
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- A heaping 1/2 cup (3 ounces) dark chocolate chunks
- Sea salt for topping
- Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven preheats, scatter walnuts across a 9×13-inch quarter sheet pan and place the nuts in the oven to toast while the oven preheats. Toast until golden and fragrant and remove from the oven to cool. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and wipe the sheet pan clean.
- Spray the pan with nonstick baking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment paper as well.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, melt butter in the microwave until just melted and warmed. Whisk in brown sugar and powdered sugar until silky smooth. If the powdered sugar is lumpy, sift it into the butter and brown sugar or just put some elbow grease into whisking any pesky lumps.
- Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Whisk in vanilla bean paste or extract.
- Use a rubber spatula to stir in dry ingredients until just thoroughly combined. Stir in most of the walnut pieces and chocolate chunks, reserving a small handful for topping the batter. Spread the batter evenly edge to edge and dot the top with remaining nuts and chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake 22-24 minutes, until the top is puffed and golden and just beginning to crack. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more sea salt. Allow to cool before slicing. Blondies can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature or frozen for your future self.
Keywords: blondies, brownies, bars, dessert, walnuts, chocolate, brown sugar
hello, I don’t have powdered sugar and I don’t use cups, so what’s the substitute amount of caster sugar / granulated sugar for the powdered sugar used in this recipe? please let me know. thank you.
Made ’em, Loved ’em!
I added some butterscotch chips- maybe a little over the top- but my college aged sons loved them!
Hi Joy! I didn’t have any powdered sugar in my pantry, but I did add toffee pieces with the chocolate and nuts and it turned out GREAT! – perfect crunch on the edges and beautifully chewy. My husband tried it and said it’s not going to make it until evening, so it’s a winner in our house!
Made as written with Pamelas GF flour blend. A yummy treat but VERY sweet for our taste. I will cut down brown sugar by at least a quarter cup if I make again.
I always prefer full on chocolate (brownies!) but have a kiddo who isn’t a chocoholic so this is a nice option to have on hand.
Thank you for the recipe :)
I made these for an elderly neighbor who’s craving sweets (I’d be the same way) and they were DELICIOUS. I refrigerated them briefly to make them easier to cut neatly, but they were great with that sprinkling of salt
I can’t wait to try this Classic Blondie recipe! The combination of butterscotch, toasted walnuts, and melty dark chocolate sounds delicious. I also appreciate the tips on using the right pan and treating the nuts with extra care. Looking forward to indulging in these chewy little squares.
I absolutely think baker’s law is a real thing. I say it every time I make bread, baker get the first piece. These looks great. I look forward to trying them.
I didn’t have a 9×13 pan so I used a 9 inch round pan. It yielded thicker Blondies with perfectly crispy edges. This one’s definitely a keeper!
love these, I’m not a choco-holic, so brownies can sometimes be too much chocolate in one bite, and so these are a lovely alternative, thank you!
As a lawyer AND a baker, I would like to formally recognize Baker’s Law! These look delightful, and I’m excited to try them!
You had me at Classics. Thank you and I must say, these Blondies look delicious. Quick question, would milk chocolate render these too sweet?
To my blondies I add coconut and toffee pieces, yummy.
Can you make a suggestion for those who don’t want to make a 9×13 pan full of baked goods? I think your recipe is terrific but it’s roughly twice as much as I would care to make. Even dividing it in half won’t work. I think that halving the recipe would make insufficient batter for an 8×8 pan.
the batter is intended to be spread relatively thin in the pan – min was maybe 1/4 inch thick tops & rose during baking. But try 2/3 the recipe if half seems too little. the only tricky bit is the eggs but if you whisk them separately first you can measure 1/3 cup
Mary H Hirsch
Jumping for Joy ….. the Baker.
Thank you for spending this month with Classics. My major complaint with many recipes currently is they’ve become so complicated with a 1/4 tsp here and a half-cup there with ingredients/flavors we often don’t have in our pantries and that really don’t kick up the taste much. In the spirit of inflation, high food costs, I am trying to step back, eliminate and still maintain a good result when I’m in the kitchen. Classic Recipes often do that. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m a French Fridays with Dorie gal, an original Dorista. No one can write a recipe, keeping it clear and simple, ending with a great result like Dorie. So, I’m prejudice.) Your thoughts, Joy?
Hi Joy – Where do you buy your chocolate from and what is the brand. Thanks