A Dollop of Filling Packs a Wallop of Flavor: Gooey Brown Butter Blondies with Pecans

I have a cookbook holder that lives permanently on the kitchen counter to the right of the oven. Oddly enough, I never actually use for cookbooks. Instead, it is packed with printouts of recipes from the internet. When it reaches capacity I have to go through the recipes to cull the ones I know I don't want to make again -- but recipes I make regularly get to stay in the holder, and the ones that have become canon (like the Baked Sweet and Salty Brownies or the Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies) are even laminated for posterity. Recently I was paring down the recipe printouts and I came across one that I had intended to make but never gotten around to for some reason: Gooey Brown Butter Blondies with Pecans.

I don't know why I haven't tried this recipe before now, because it's easy and all of the ingredients are items I keep on hand. There are two major components in the bars: the blondie batter and a brown butter filling. To make the brown butter filling you beat slightly cooled browned butter with an egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt until light; and fold in flour. You set that aside and make the blondie batter by beating brown sugar with room temperature butter; adding eggs and vanilla; mixing in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt); and folding in chopped toasted pecans.

You spread two-thirds of the blondie batter into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan (I lined mine with parchment), and then add alternating dollops of the remaining blondie batter and the brown butter filling. I smoothed the surface of the bars with an offset spatula and sprinkled more pecans on top before baking.
I thought the technique of alternating dollops of the filing with the blondie batter and smoothing them together was strange, but somehow it worked and the bars ended up with a layer of browned butter filling in the middle. In the photo above, the filling is the portion of the bars in the center that looks slightly damp; the filling layer is darker in color and much more pronounced in the photo on the epicurious website.

These bars are fantastic. They are thick and substantial, with a gloriously chewy texture (which I don't think quite qualifies as "gooey," despite the recipe name) combined with a nice crunch from the pecans. The filling layer doesn't comes across as a separate layer per se, but contributes to an incredibly delicious bar with a deep butterscotch-y flavor. My tasters absolutely raved about these blondies and I would not hesitate to make them again. This recipe is staying in the recipe holder!

Recipe: "Gooey Brown Butter Blondies with Pecans" from epicurious.com.

Previous Post: "Super Special For Sure: Bakehouse Pecan Blondies," December 27, 2017.