This easy recipe for toffee blondies is made with browned butter and chopped Skor bar (a toffee chocolate bar), and topped with flaky sea salt for a salty toffee cookie bar treat!
The basic ingredients and ratios
Blondies are made with the same basic ingredients as chocolate chip cookies, so you will need:
- sugar (both granulated and brown)
- leavening agents—both baking soda and baking powder are added to the mix of dry ingredients to open up the crumb of the cookie leading to a lighter texture. People who like cake-y cookies tend to favour recipes with baking powder.
If you aren't sure the difference between the leavening agents, please read this post about baking soda versus baking powder.
Gooey versus chewy texture
People often look for a more gooey texture with blondies, especially when compared to the classic chewy chocolate chip cookies. To achieve that, recipes for blondies use less flour as compared to the eggs and butter in a classic cookie.
So while the best chocolate chip cookies have 190 grams of flour for every 115 grams of butter and 1 large egg, with a batch of blondies, you can go as low as 125 grams of flour for the same amount of butter and eggs to achieve a softer, more gooey texture in the middle.
Blondie bars are often underbaked, as with brownies, to achieve a more moist texture in the middle.
A few recipes also use more butter than traditional cookies, 175 grams of butter for every large egg. Again, this leads to a more tender product, though more fat can also make them seem a little greasy.
There are people who treat blondies like reverse brownies, replacing the melted dark chocolate from the brownie batter with melted white chocolate. That's another option to consider, but this recipe doesn't do that.
If you wanted to, you would have to factor the sugar and fat that white chocolate would contribute to the blondie batter, thereby adjusting the amount of butter and sugar you add to the recipe. It can get complicated very quickly if you want to go down that road. So for now, we are making blondies that are a variation of the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe.
Impact of bakeware on texture
While my best chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for the creaming mixing method of room-temperature butter with lots of sugar to achieve a chewy texture, swapping the softened butter for melted butter will help you achieve a more dense, gooey blondie bar. And melting the butter, you can take it one step further by browning the butter, which ups the flavour of the bars significantly, adding a delicate nutty flavour that can't be beaten!
Ultimately, the baking method also has an impact on the texture: because blondies are baked in a big square or rectangular baking pan, the pieces in the middle of the pan will be more under-baked, regardless of the ratios you use, because the middle doesn't heat up as much as the edges. If you like under-baked cookies, blondies are the way to go!
Hint the baking pan you use to bake your blondies will have an impact on the baking and the final texture. Use a metal pan so they bake faster and rise taller with a more chewy edge. Read all about baking pans to understand the difference between metal and glass bakeware.
When to take them out of the oven
Just like with brownies, baking blondies can be tricky when it comes to how long to bake them and when to know they are done. Using a skewer to check if they're done baking will help you get a feel for what's going on in the middle of the pan:
- if you want a gooey or under-baked centre, you want to take them out of the oven BEFORE the middle sets—the middle should be quite soft still and verging on raw at this point because the blondies will continue to cook for over 10 minutes after you've taken them out of the oven to cool!
- if you want a chewy centre that is more "baked through," you will bake them longer and use a skewer to feel the texture of the middle—it should be firmer and more set, and the blondies should be golden brown on top too, and not just on the edges.
Getting creative with the add-ins
Like with most cookies and brownies, the base recipe of the blondie is a blank canvas for adding in different flavour elements:
- brown the butter for more flavour before making the cookie dough
- top with chopped chocolate and fruit, like for these white chocolate and raspberry blondies
- incorporate chopped candy bars and lots of flaky sea salt, like in the recipe below made with chopped Skor bars.
- replace the vanilla extract with a splash of bourbon or scotch, which will provide an interesting oak flavour to these blondies, or some vanilla bean paste
This recipe has a good amount of salt, so if you aren't into the salty-sweet combo, you might want to skip the finishing salt sprinkled on top before baking, and use about half a teaspoon (whisk it in with the dry ingredients). The brown butter adds a pleasantly subtle nuttiness to the blondies.
To store blondies, place them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Alternatively, like with chocolate chip cookies, for longer term storage, you can freeze blondies in a single layer in a freezer bag. Defrost them, one at a time, when a craving strikes. Defrost one blondie bar in a low oven for about 10 minutes (usually at 250–275 ºF). The blondie will end up warm and taste just like it was freshly baked.
Skor toffee blondies
- 190 grams (1½ cups) bleached all-purpose flour for softer, more gooey blondies, use less flour, as little as 125 grams (1 cup)
- 5 mL (1 teaspoon) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt or 2.5 mL (½ tsp) table salt
- 2.5 mL (½ teaspoon) baking powder
- 1.25 mL (¼ teaspoon) baking soda
- 115 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter
- 150 grams (¾ cup) dark brown sugar
- 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 1 (1 ) large egg(s)
- 15 mL (1 tablespoon) pure vanilla extract
- 175 grams (1 cup) Skor bar chopped (approximately 4–5 bars)
- Flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Butter an 8x8-inch metal brownie pan and line the bottom with a square of parchment. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan on medium–high heat, melt the butter, swirling the pan often. Continue heating the butter and swirling often until the milk solids at the bottom of the pan begin to brown. The browned butter will smell nutty when it's done. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip together the browned butter, the granulated sugar, and the brown sugar until it's well mixed.
- Add the egg and the vanilla, and mix well until the mixture is light and fluffy. Make sure to clean down the sides of the bowl as needed with a big spatula.
- Dump in the whisked dry ingredients, and incorporate them either with the hand mixer on low, or by hand with a big wooden spoon.
- Mix in the chopped chocolate. The dough should be quite thick.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and pat it out from edge-to-edge so that it fills the pan completely.
- Bake the blondies for 25 to 30. Less for a more gooey blondie, longer for a chewy blondie. I like to bake blondies until the edges are nicely browned.
- Let the blondies cool completely before cutting into squares (9 large squares or 16 smaller squares).
- Store in an airtight container.
I understand that you might want to bake these blondies with whatever flour you have on hand or make other substitutions.
- If you want to replace the all-purpose flour with an alternative flour, consider the following substitutions:
- whole wheat flour: 190 grams (1.5 cups) whole wheat flour to make whole wheat blondies
- rye flour: 190 grams (1.5 cups) rye flour to make rye chocolate chip cookies (basically replace with the same amount)—any more rye flour makes the blondies way too chewy and don't forget rye has a very pronounced flavour, so rye blondies will taste very different and you might want to experiment with a combination of flours.
- spelt flour: 220 grams–250 grams (1.75 cups to 2 cups) spelt flour to make spelt blondies— at 250 grams of spelt flour. Use just slightly less if you prefer your blondies less chewy.
- oat flour: 220 grams–250 grams (1.75 cups to 2 cups) oat flour depending on how chewy a blondie you want (note you can also replace the chopped chocolate with raisins to make them gluten-free oat flour raisin blondies )
- buckwheat flour: 310 grams (2.5 cups) buckwheat flour to make gluten-free buckwheat chocolate chip blondies—less works, but it all depends on if you want chewy blondies (more flour) or less chewy blondies (less flour)! Note that buckwheat flour imparts quite a grassy flavour, so you might want to experiment with a combination of flours.
- If you want to add nuts:
- when you add in the chocolate, also mix in 110 grams (1 cup) chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts, or even peanuts or pistachios.
- If you want to add seeds: when you add in the chocolate, also mix in 110 grams (1 cup) sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- If you want to add sprinkles: if you want a funfetti blondie or a "birthday cake" style blondie, mix sprinkles in with the dough. I like adding rainbow jimmies to dough.
- If you want to add peanut butter: when you cream the butter with the sugars, you can add 125 grams (½ cup) of all-natural peanut butter because the recipe below is VERY similar to this recipe for classic peanut butter cookies.
- If you want to change the chocolate: I love to make blondies with chopped dark chocolate that is preferably 70 % cocoa and not too sweet, but you can also use milk chocolate, white chocolate, or a combination of the three. Make sure you stick to the same total quantity of chocolate though. Try adding toffee bits, butterscotch chips, or even peanut butter chips for a completely different flavour.
- If you want to replace the chocolate with chopped dried fruit: you can replace the chocolate with raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried sour cherries, chopped crystallized ginger, chopped dates, etc. Substitute cup-for-cup, or do a mixture of chocolate and dried fruit. Up to you!
- If you want to add in something crazy: take inspiration from Christina Tosi's Milk Bar compost cookie recipe and her compost pound cake and throw in some salty potato chips, chopped pretzels, coffee grinds!
- If you want to garnish: fresh berries work surprisingly well, added on top of blondies before baking, like these white chocolate and raspberry blondies.