Darcie Bakes //

Baking from scratch… because good things take time.

Chocolate Chip Browned Butter Blondies {With Sea Salt}.


Man oh man. While brownies will probably always be my favorite dessert, I have to say that blondies – especially those with brown butter – are a close second.


Browned butter is a pretty popular phenomenon on food blogs, as you might’ve noticed. I don’t think I had a clue as to what browned butter was until several years ago, when I first started getting into reading food blogs. Even then, I avoided it for quite some time, because it just sounds intimidating, you know? And even still, I think that a lot of people don’t really know what it is. I remember raving about it to someone at work, and they were just like, “Brown butter? Is that like, rotten butter something?” HA! So then of course I had to go into a long, rambling explanation about what browned butter actually is, and why it’s so awesome. That person probably stopped listening after the first sentence of the explanation. But that’s okay. Even if you’re not a baking nerd like I am, you can still appreciate the beauty that is brown [browned? I don’t know] butter.

{I want this as my new desktop background. Dat texture doe.}

So what is browned butter, you ask? Great question. Plenty of other food blogs have probably explained it much better than me. But for the record, no, it is not “rotten butter.” [Eww.] Brown butter is simply butter that has been browned. Why would you want to brown your butter, you ask? Well, we all know that butter is amazing on its own [REAL BUTTER Y’ALL! – that was in my Paula Deen voice]. But when you brown it and add it to foodstuffs, it tends to take the taste of everything to another level. In savory foods – such as browned butter sweet potato gnocchi with crispy sage [I had a dish like this in Seattle; it was amazeballs] – it gives the taste of the dish a nutty flavor. In sweet treats, it adds a lovely caramel-esque flavor to everything. That’s why browned butter is perfect for blondies: blondies are basically chocolate chip cookies in bar form – with a brownie-like texture. Adding browned butter means that the blondies have even more of a caramel-y flavor to them than before. What’s not to like?!

{I had way too much fun arranging the slices of blondies to read “Hi” … Who says a mid-twenties lady can’t play with her food? :P}

Now, I have made a few blondie recipes in the past. But what I really appreciate about this particular recipe is its simplicity. There are only seven ingredients, and it involves two sticks of butter, y’all. The end result is caramel-y, rich blondies, studded with chocolate chips. And if you choose to sprinkle them with flaky sea salt – well, that just makes them even more awesome. It cuts some of the sweetness, and it just adds that tasty, salty-sweet flavor combination that a lot of people really love. So if you’re craving something rich and sweet, do yourself a favor and make these blondies.

Also, you should know that browning butter isn’t that difficult. It just requires understanding the technique, and paying really close attention to what you’re doing so that you don’t burn it. The work is definitely worth the end result; it adds such a nice element of taste to everything you put it in!

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Chocolate Chip Browned Butter Blondies [With Sea Salt].

Yield: One 8×8″ (or 9×9″) square pan of blondies. 

– 2 
sticks [one cup] of unsalted butter
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 heaping tsp. salt
– 2 large eggs
– 4 tsp. good-quality vanilla extract
– 1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar [Light brown sugar works just fine, too.]
– 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips [I used semisweet.]
– Flaky sea salt, for topping [optional, except not really]

1. Begin by browning the butter: In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Swirl it around a few times. You may need to turn the heat up to medium-high. It will begin to foam and spatter after several minutes of being melted. Keep an eye on it; after about 3-4 minutes, it will begin to smell nutty. You will notice that it will start sizzling and browned bits will begin to form. The butter is done browning when the sizzling starts to quiet down, and the browned bits have dropped to the bottom of the pan. {This is where the solids and liquids of the fat will separate from one another. The “browned” color is actually about the color of rust; you don’t want it much darker than that.} Again, keep a close watch on the butter, as it’s really easy to burn. If you notice black bits forming within the butter, it has begun to burn, and you’ll need to start over. Allow the butter to cool in a large bowl [for about 30 minutes… or if you want that marbled effect, cool the butter for about five minutes, then proceed with the recipe].

2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your baking pan by lining it with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and set aside.

3. Whisk together the flour and salt in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla, and set aside.

4. Add the brown sugar to the cooled butter, and mix together with a wooden spoon for about a minute.

5. Next, add the egg/vanilla mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Stir until combined and shiny, which should take about 20 seconds.

6. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Mix until there are a few pockets of flour left; and add the chocolate chips. Mix until the chocolate is evenly distributed, and the flour pockets are gone; be careful to not over-mix, though.

7. Spoon the dough into the prepared pan; spread it evenly into the pan as best as you can [the dough will keep its shape]. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is crispy and just starting to get crackly. The edges should be firm and slightly browned; the center should not feel super soft. Top the blondies with sea salt, if you wish.

8. Allow to cool completely, then remove from the pan. Slice and serve. The blondies should keep at room temperature for a few days, or you can freeze them for longer term.

– Recipe from Food 52.

PS: Sorry that this post was a little heavy on the words. Whoops. I just got overly excited about browned butter. Heh.

One response to “Chocolate Chip Browned Butter Blondies {With Sea Salt}.”

  1. Kayla Greene Avatar
    Kayla Greene

    This is the best! Love the nutty butter. Thanks for this great post!

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