Thursday, February 10, 2011


I remember the first time I had a Blondie.  My mother made them using butterscotch chips that had become popular in the 60s and for years that's how I thought a Blondie taste like.  However, a few years ago, I bought a cookbook called The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread, for her reputation of being one of New York's favorite bakeries and found this recipe.

I've never used another bag of butterscotch chips again...sorry Mom, but these are perfection!

The first time I made them, I was flying to Kentucky to visit Kelly and thought I bring them a "goodie bag" of these indescribably moist bars, topped with walnuts and chocolate chips.  Consequently, they had been invited to a birthday party for a friend and Kelly said, "can we bring these to the party because I hate coming empty-handed?"  It was a pretty big crowd and these Blondies were definitely a hit; as I knew they would be.  I have since made them at least  50 or 60 times and they have become my choice to give as gifts too!

The name Blondie comes from the fact that they have no cocoa powder or melted chocolate in the batter, but unlike my mother's, Amy's addition of the chocolate chips and walnuts will definitely soothe the soul of any chocoholic.  Also, the last few times I've made them, I have switched out the semi-sweet chocolate chips for my favorite, bittersweet, and in addition to the vanilla extract, I've been adding a  scraped vanilla bean to enhance the flavor.

4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, melted
3 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tahitian vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped to add to batter
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
2 cups + 2T Semi-sweet chocolate chips (or Bittersweet)
2 3/4 cups Walnut pieces, toasted and broken

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Butter a 12 x 17-inch sheet pan, line with parchment, then butter again.
(*Very important to use the correct size of pan for baking time)

Measure walnuts and toast in the preheated oven, about 8 minutes or until you smell their aroma.
When they're done, remove from oven and transfer nuts to a piece of parchment paper to cool.  Use your fingers to break the not chop.

Melt the unsalted butter and set aside.  In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, measure the dark brown into the mixing bowl.  Add the melted butter to the brown sugar, mixing on low speed to combine.  Allow the butter/brown sugar to cool before proceeding to next step.  Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk together with the vanilla and vanilla bean paste.  Add this to the brown/butter mixture, slowly, while the machine is running.  Fold the dry ingredients into the batter until it is almost combined, then, add one-quarter of the chocolate chips and walnuts.  Fold them completely into the batter.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate chips and walnut pieces.
Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325F-degrees, and I turn the pan.  Bake for another 16 to 21 minutes.  Mine always take 18 minutes more, exactly.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting and serving.  And, if you're shipping them, like I will be doing, wrap them individually with wax paper.

 Amy recommends cutting the bars, 5 across and 5 down for a total of 25 bars.  I have always done 4 across and 6 down--which still gives me a pretty good side bar of golden goodness.

I know with Valentine's Day just a few days away, everyone's thinking chocolate, but I will tell you, this is a very nice surprise for the sweetheart in your life.  I guarantee it.  Enjoy!


  1. After looking at these photos, I am really craving chocolate!! These look amazing!

  2. As I refer to them...killer Blondies:D

  3. Oh Susan these look scrumptious. Maybe I will have time to bake them to take to e's sister when we visit! :D Thank you for sharing your fabulous stories and recipes.
    Hugs, -mary

  4. Wow, these sound wonderful...I will be trying this new recipe!

  5. Yum! These look great. I've always liked the idea of blondies--but really hate the fake taste of butterscotch chips. Thanks for reinventing this one for us!

  6. WHAT??? Charlottesville?? Of course I LOVE Virginia and worked with the Quaker community in Goose Creek. I love all of Virginia.

    Tell me more about the move...and oh, I'll never make it into a bathing suit again. Thanks a lot.

    Love xx,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  7. You sure know how to make a blondie look like the best dessert on earth. I hope you'll come by and link these up to Sweets for a Saturday #4.

  8. Hi Susan. These look so wonderful. I have never had one before. I have a Question though could you make them without the walnuts? I am not able to bake with nuts and wondered if they could be left out or would it not be very good without?

  9. I love the idea of using bittersweet chips in this recipe!

  10. Tracy, absolutely you can leave out the nuts! The bar is moist and full of flavor on its own. Maybe, try sprinkling some toffee bits on top for a little crunch with the chocolate chips. xoxo

  11. Thanks so much Susan .I am definately going to make them and I love your idea about adding the toffee bits instead of the nuts.

  12. Thanks for linking these up to Sweets for a Saturday. Don't forget to come by and enter my giveaway for a $25 item of your choice from CSN.