Browned-Butter Date Blondies
Published by Ten Speed Press
These blondies are admittedly a bit over the top: packed with browned butter, toasted nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate, but what is winter without a little indulgence? Given their richness, serve them in small squares. The baked blondies keep for a couple of weeks in the freezer in an airtight container or ziptop bag.
Makes16 to 24 blondies
Total TimeUnder 2 Hours
Type of DishDessert
- 1 cup (100g) coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter
- 2 cups (400g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons bourbon, optional
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (150g) Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup (170g) chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
- 1⁄4 cup (30g) dried cherries, roughly chopped
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4). Line a 9 by 9-inch baking pan (for thick blondies) or 9 by 13-inch pan (for thin blondies) with foil or parchment paper, and grease well.
Arrange the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Slide into the oven and toast until golden. Slice the butter into tablespoon-size pieces, put it in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat, and melt it, stirring constantly. The melted butter will foam a bit, but then the foam will subside. Keep cooking the butter, stirring occasionally, until the milk solids turn golden brown and the butter has a nutty fragrance, 7 to 10 minutes. Take the butter off the heat and pour it, along with all of the browned bits, from the pan into a heat-safe bowl to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, bourbon, vanilla, and salt together. Whisk in the cooled butter, then fold in the flour and baking powder.
Make sure that the mixture is almost at room temperature (to prevent the chocolate from melting), then stir in the toasted walnuts, dates, chocolate, and cherries. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake until the top is shiny, set, and slightly cracked around the edges, 25 to 35 minutes for thin blondies and 35 to 45 minutes for thick blondies. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. When cool, lift the blondies out of the pan using the parchment paper or foil as handles and slice into 16 to 24 squares.
Reprinted with permission from Sweeter Off the Vine, by Yossy Arefi, copyright 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright 2016 by Yossy Arefi