Cooking butter until it is a deep, rich brown, before it darkens and burns, produces a nutty-flavored butter that enhances the traditional blondie. French chefs call this brown butter beurre noisette (hazelnut butter) because of its nut-brown color and taste. These blondies go well with an ice cream made with nuts, such as butter pecan or toasted almond.
Brown Butter Blondies
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1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz.235 g.) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g.) clarified unsalted butter
1 cup (7 oz./220 g.) firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, strained
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter and 8-inch (20-cm.) square baking pan.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a frying pan over low heat, heat the clarified butter until light brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a small bowl to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the brown butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Mix in the eggs, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 35-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
If desired, using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Using a large, sharp knife, cut into 2-inch (5-cm.) squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes 16 blondies.