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Salted Peanut Butter Cup Brown Butter Blondies

  Girl, where you at.

  I'm on doorsteps in nostalgic neighborhoods watching snow come down.  I'm in cafes in college towns.  I'm washing dishes and learning the art of making wraps and cappuccinos.  I've got my foot in my mouth about all the relationships going on in my life.  I'm wishing on the stars and walking the streets.  I'm browsing apartment listings with weary eyes.  I'm dissecting my feelings.  I'm dissing the drama.

  And I'm making blondies.  I'm keeping things simple where I have the power to do so.

  Blondies are like gooey cookie bars with that crackly brownie top.  And these are especially delightful because they contain an entire stick of brown butter, which is nothing short of amazing. 

  They come together so quickly you won't know even know what hit your kitchen. 

  I love the simplicity of knowing what's going to happen when I throw together butter and sugar.  I let the brown sugar soak up the brown butter just a bit before beating together, because the visual is just way too enticing.

  Whisking into thick, batter-y submission.

  Chopped Mini Reese's Cups, always.

  When it comes to blondie add-ins you make all the rules.  A little extra peanut butter cup decorating and a few pinches of fleur de sel seal the deal here.

  After things have baked and cooled down you'll see the beautiful dilemma you've gotten yourself into.  Having a pan of these lying around is not for the faint of stomach.

  Now, upon pulling this from the hot oven, you might have some doubts.  If your gas oven is anything like mine they may look a little wonky.  Huge, raised sides that are only just starting to harden, contrary to their much darker color.  A puffy but somehow sinking and slightly crackling center that is just set on top, but still pretty shaky and gooey-like underneath its deceptive crust.

  Don't worry, you did just fine.  Give the pan a few hours to redeem itself and you'll be sinking your teeth into the most perfectly-textured blondie.

  This is the kind of brown butter situation where you will actually be able to taste its lingering, nutty effects in the finished product.  These tiny bars really pack a punch in the richness department, but its worth every buttery morsel.

  Simplicity where and when you can, extra gumption where you cannot.

  Happy weekend folks.

Salted Peanut Butter Cup Brown Butter Blondies
Yield: 16 blondies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanut butter cups
  • Coarse sea salt, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour an 8x8 inch pan.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the foam starts turning golden and the mixture smells nutty.  There will be browned bits on the bottom, that's perfect.  Remove from heat and pour into a medium bowl, allow to cool slightly.

Add the brown sugar to the butter and whisk to combine.  Add the egg and vanilla and blend well.  Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir until almost combined.  Mix in the chocolate chips and peanut butter cups (reserving a few cups for topping, if desired) and fold until just combined.

Spread into the prepared pan and smooth with a rubber spatula.  Add decorative peanut butter cup halves if desired.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  You can’t do the toothpick test with this because it always comes out clean. Instead, look for a crispy top that's just starting to crackle; and firm, slightly-browned edges.  When you press on the center, you don’t want it to feel really soft. but still kinda soft.  Know that once it cools down it will firm up a lot!  That gooey center is key.

Cool completely on a wire rack, then dig in.

Sources: adapted from Food52 and Babble