Genius blondies

This is the Cook’s Illustrated recipe from July 2005, as featured in Food 52, but I’ve eliminated the lining of the baking pan with foil. You may if you want to lift and cut the whole batch in one go, but to this lazy baker it seems an unnecessary use of time and foil.


  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts (4 ounces; optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces white chocolate chips (1 cup) or chopped bar, or 3 ounces each white chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13×9-inch baking pan.
  2. Spread nuts, if using, on large rimmed baking sheet and bake until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer nuts to cutting board to cool; chop coarsely and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into butter-sugar mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in chocolate and nuts, if using, and turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula.
  5. Bake until top is shiny, cracked, and light golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. Do not overbake: if a tester comes out gooey, give it another minute or two; it if comes out with a moist crumb, it’s done enough. Cool on wire rack. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Makes 24 2-inch squares.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

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