These soft and chewy Browned Butter Blondies are packed with chocolate chips (or any variety of chocolate) and gets sprinkled with flaky sea salt. These quick one bowl blonde brownies are made in a quarter sheet pan, but can also be made in a 9x13 inch pan and will be ready to eat within the hour.
Blondies! This gooey version of what some call blonde brownies is like a chocolate chip cookie in a thicker bar form. Made with brown butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar, this combination gives the bars the BEST fudgy butterscotch flavor and texture. Also, they're dangerously easy to make, require no stand mixer, and are truly the best quick dessert!
My favorite part about these Browned Butter Blondies? You can make them your own with different types of add-ins. Want to use white chocolate instead of dark chocolate? Go for it! Add nuts or coconut? Love it.
I used chopped chocolate rather than chocolate chips to photograph this recipe. The possibilities are endless. A section for suggested add-ins is included in the post write up. My one ask? Don't skip the flaky sea salt if you're adding chocolate!
Before you get started, check out my How to Brown Butter post if you're unfamiliar with this technique. We want to take the butter to a deep brown color and nutty flavor - this is what totally makes the recipe.
Browned butter is pretty much something of the gods - you can also check out my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pear Spice Cake with Brown Butter Frosting and Brown Butter Peach Crisp for more "bb" love.
What is a blondie?
A blondie is typically made in bar form, and is akin to a non-chocolate version of a brownie. While this recipe doesn't use oil, many recipes do, which is a staple in a brownie recipe (cocoa powder is a drying ingredient, so the oil helps them hold moisture).
Blondies can typically be made in a variety of pan sizes (8x8, 9x13, 8x11), so refer to each recipe to see what is recommended. This version is made in a quarter sheet pan, but can also be made in a 9x13 pan. They should have crispy edge pieces and soft, chewy (even gooey) insides. They can be made with just the batter, or with a variety of add-ins.
- Butter. Unsalted, and you're going to BROWN it! And I mean get it really brown (that means flavor). Note there's an extra 2 tablespoons included, which is because the water in butter evaporates during the browning process, so this will get us to the final amount needed.
- Sugars. Light or dark brown and granulated. The brown sugar is necessary to help with that butterscotch flavor. Dark brown with give the most flavor, but light also does the job impeccably.
- Eggs. For leavening, structure, and that shiny top!
- All-purpose flour. The main base and structure of the recipe. Be sure to measure your flour correctly - it's best to use a digital kitchen scale.
- Baking powder. This is the sole leavening agent and cannot be left out.
- Chocolate. I like to use a mixture of dark and milk chocolate. You can make these brown butter blondies with chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or chopped chocolate. Chopped chocolate will result in the meltiest puddles. Feel free to use white chocolate, as well!
- Flaky sea salt. Don't skip this! It's such a crucial flavor component to round out every bite. Trust me. You can typically find Maldon salt flakes in most grocery stores.
How to Make Blondies
You can make these blondies from scratch with only one bowl! To do this, sift the dry ingredients right into the wet. You can whisk the dry ingredients separately, then add them in if you're ok with dirtying two bowls.
To start, preheat the oven to 350℉/177℃ and line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.
STEP 1: Brown the butter in a saucepan or frying pan until the milk solids have become quite dark (you should question whether you're actually burning it - but don't do that!) and the butter smells nutty and delicious.
Pour into a large mixing bowl and be sure to scrape out all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
STEP 2: Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and whisk vigorously for one minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk vigorously again for another minute.
Want that shiny, crackly top? Put in extra elbow grease while whisking in the eggs! Agitating the egg whites is what ensure the shiny top.
STEP 3: Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt (or whisk them together in another bowl first), and use a rubber spatula to combine the wet and dry ingredients.
STEP 4: Fold in ¾ of the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, then spread the mixture into the prepared sheet pan. Top with the remaining chocolate.
Baking and Serving
STEP 5: Bake the browned butter blondies for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are set and crispy and the center is no longer jiggly. They should look slightly underdone in the very center section, but set on top.
STEP 6: Remove to a wire rack, sprinkle all over with flaky sea salt, and cool for at least 30 minutes.
I like to slice in at 30 minutes while they're still warm (so they're extra gooey and melty), but you can wait until they're fully cooled, too!
For the most aesthetically pleasing bars, chop up a bit of extra chocolate and sprinkle it top on as soon as the bars come out of the oven (then finish with flaky salt). The residual heat will melt pools of glorious chocolate on top.
My Best Tips
- You must brown the butter, don't just use normal melted butter!
- After adding the flour, don't over mix the batter - this can cause tough blondies.
- Don't over bake them! It will be tempting to keep them in the oven too long because the center will look underdone. But, remember that they'll continue baking and setting as it cools on the pan after being removed from the oven.
- I do not suggest baking these in an 8x8 or 9x9 inch square pan. These are best in a quarter sheet pan or 9x13 inch pan. The bake time may need to increase slightly for a 9x13 pan, but use the same cues to test for doneness.
Variations and Add-ins
There are a number of ways you can take this recipe. Just be sure to stick to 12-14 ounces of total weight for whatever add-ins you use. Here are some ideas:
- Nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts)
- Shredded coconut
- White chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or all three! You can use chocolate chips, chunks, or chopped chocolate. I've even seen Nestle has come out with espresso chips, which would be an awesome flavor.
- Butterscotch chips
- Dried cranberries
- Toffee pieces
- Salted caramel chunks
Storing and Freezing
Store the bars tightly covered, as air is the enemy for this dessert. You can add them to a ziptop bag and remove all air, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap AND foil in the pan, or place them in a Tupperware container with a slice of bread to keep them moist. Store at room temperature for 3-4 days.
The blondies freeze remarkably well. Tightly wrap small sections in plastic wrap, foil, then place in a ziptop bag and remove all air. Store the blondies in the freezer for two months and thaw at room temperature.
Blondies are softer, thicker, and chewier than a cookie, but harder than a cake. They are served in bar form and have a thinner batter than a cookie.
These are similar in batter and shape, but blondies omit cocoa powder or melted chocolate being added to the batter. They aim for the same chewy texture, but blondies have a more butterscotch, caramelized flavor due to the omission of the chocolate.
A blondie is cooked when the edges are completely set and crispy, and the top of the batter in the center is set and no longer sloshy when the pan is tapped.
This is because they need more time to bake. If not using the correct sized pan, you may need a lot of extra bake time to set the center (but the edges could then be extra crispy).
This could be for a couple of reasons: the flour wasn't measure correctly and too much was used, the batter was over-mixed, or the blondies were over baked.
I have successfully made these gluten free for a friend using Bob's Red Mill 1-1 Gluten Free Flour Blend.
Eggs are crucial to the structure of this recipe and should not be omitted. It is best to look for recipes that are specifically made without eggs if you need to make this adjustment.
Other bar recipes to try
- Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Oat Bars
- S'mores Bar Recipe
- Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
Pin for Later
Chewy Browned Butter Blondies with Chocolate Chips
- Frying pan or saucepan
- Quarter sheet pan with sides
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowls
- Fine mesh sieve (optional)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour 180g
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter browned and melted (¾ cup or 170g total needed after browning)
- ¾ cup light brown sugar 150g
- ¾ cup granulated sugar 150g
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
- 12 oz milk and dark chocolate (6oz of each) chips, chunks, or chopped bars
- Flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350℉/177℃ and line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Add the butter to a frying pan or saucepan over medium heat and melt, stirring frequently, until the butter turns golden in color and the milk solids have turned into brown flecks. It will smelly nutty and delicious. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, being sure to scrape out all brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the brown sugar and white sugar to the brown butter and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute.
- Add the eggs and vanilla, and whisk vigorously again for another minute.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt (or whisk together in another bowl before pouring in) and use a rubber spatula to combine and fold it together until the flour disappears.
- Fold in ¾ of the chocolate, then pour the mixture into the prepared baking sheet and spread it evenly to the sides and edges. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate over the top.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the center area is no longer sloshy.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Sprinkle liberally with flaky sea salt.
- Allow the bars to cool for 30 minutes, then remove them from the pan using the parchment paper.
- These are best served when they're still slightly warm. Wait until they get to this point, then cut and serve.