Here it is: The solution to all of your holiday baking needs. Potluck party? Check. Cookie exchange? Yes, please. Something to munch on while decorating the tree? Done and done.
Rich and gooey brown butter blondies studded with white chocolate chunks, pistachios, and dried cranberries. These babies were made for the holidays, right? It's such a great mix of sweet, salty, and tart ... And the best part is, these blondies are healthy - as healthy as a blondie starting with brown butter can be. You've got white whole wheat flour going on, and sucanat - which is the most raw and unprocessed form of sugar there is. If you've never used sucanat before, it has sort of a funky smell in the bag and it has a different texture than brown sugar - but I promise, the flavor and texture is totally uncompromised. You can, however, go for regular brown sugar if that's what you've on hand.
That's the difference between a blondie and a brownie: A brownie is all about the chocolate, and a blondie is all about the brown sugar ... Or in this case, the sucanat and brown butter. And because blondies typically use - like brownies do - melted butter anyway ... it's like, why not brown it first? That way, you get even more flavor-bang for your buck.
What you might like the most about this recipe is that you can do it all in one pan. It all comes together super-fast either way, but I know some of you will prefer to skip the dirtying of extra mixing bowls - and you totally can, because I tested it both ways. I wrote the instructions out the technically correct way, according to traditional baking rules; they did come out just slightly more perfect in appearance this way, but the flavor is the same - so the choice is yours. Whatever you do, make sure to take them out on the earlier end of the baking time if you prefer gooey blondies ... And really, who doesn't? :)
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
- 2 cups organic sucanat or brown sugar
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 3 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 (8-ounce) block high-quality white chocolate, chopped into chunks
- 3/4 cup roasted and salted shelled pistachios
- 3/4 cup premium whole dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9- x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil (giving yourself extra length on all side to pull the blondies out later) and hit it with nonstick cooking or baking spray.
- Slice butter into pats and place in a stainless steel saucepan (you don't want to use nonstick because it will be hard to see the color of the butter on the darker surface) over medium heat. Whisk the butter as it melts; after the foam subsides, you will notice little brown specks starting to form in the bottom of the pan. When the butter has browned has smells nutty, remove the pan from the heat. (Be careful not to burn the butter - if you do, you'll have to start over.) Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Whisk sucanat into browned butter. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Fold in white chocolate chunks, pistachios, and cranberries.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is crackling and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.