Gooey-centered, golden-edged, and unbelievably easy, these are your failproof, perfect blondies, and you can make them with butter or Earth Balance with great results both ways. You can also customize them with any add-ins you like or have on hand.
This is one of those back-pocket recipes, one to pull it when Shabbat is coming in at 4:30, or you're in dire need of a midweek treat, or you the kids need to stop complaining, stat. Let's get one thing off my chest first, though: yes, it's better with butter, and if you possibly can, make it for yourself in its dairy incarnation. That being said, it's so good with Earth Balance that most people won't notice. I accidentally tested this hypothesis at our annual Sukkot cookiefest one year (in non-Covid years, that is) where I served both dairy treats and some that were parve for the dairy intolerant among us. Nobody seemed to know or care that the blondies were parve and they disappeared first among the offerings. So there you have it.
Making (one-bowl!) perfect blondies
Here's the whole story: you melt a stick of butter or margarine, then whisk in brown sugar and vanilla. (I almost always use and like salted butter, but you can use unsalted here if you prefer.) Set aside to cool for just a minute or two, while you pull out the remaining ingredients. Then, right into the same bowl go the flour, baking soda, and salt. Switch to a flexible silicone spatula and fold in all the dry stuff until just combined. The batter will be thick, just a bit looser than cookie dough, which it will resemble. Fold in your white and chocolate chips, and nuts, if you're using them, which I highly recommend. If you're not a fan of white chocolate or can't find any parve white chips, you can use all regular chocolate chips. If you're going dairy, you can also use M&Ms or cut-up chocolate candy bars here, in place of or in addition to the chocolate chips, to the great delight of kids and former kids.
A note on baking: definitely err on the side of underbaking these rather than going over. You want them to be lightly golden at the edges and slightly craggy (they'll get craggier as they cool), but still pale in the center, when you pull them out. This ensures that they'll be properly gooey on the inside. In my oven this takes 25 minutes precisely, but I always check them beginning at 22. The first time, I'd give them a look at 20 minutes in, just to see how they're doing.
It's not an easy feat, but these blondies will cut neatly into 9 generous or 16 small squares once they're cool. They generally release from the pan easily, but you'll want to use parchment paper with an overhang if you want to slice them neatly. I use a bread knife to cut them into squares right on the parchment paper, after removing from the cooled pan.
Looking for more easy treats?
- Dairy-Free Magic Bars
- Israeli Apple Cake - dairy-free
- Aquavit's Salted Coconut Cookies - dairy or dairy-free
- Dairy-Free Cowboy Cookies
- Box Office Monday Dairy-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Perfect Blondies (dairy or parve)
- 1 stick butter/margarine
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup white chocolate chips - or use all regular (1 cup total) if you prefer
- ½ cup chopped walnuts - optional, but recommended
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line a square 8"x8" / 20x20 cm pan with parchment paper and then spray with cooking spray.
- Place the butter/margarine in a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Microwave the butter/margarine in 30-second intervals until fully melted. (You can also do this in a pot on the stovetop, and then use the pot to mix the batter in.)
- Whisk the brown sugar into the bowl, then the vanilla. Set aside to cool for a minute of two, then whisk in the egg.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and fold with a silicone spatula until combined.
- Add in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using, and fold again to combine.
- Pat the thick batter into the prepared pan and into the edges, then smooth the top. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges but still pale in the center. Err on the side of underbaking than overbaking!