These blondies started out their life as brown butter toffee blondies. But I looked at my blog and I had already made a blondie with the exact same name. This recipe was different enough and they sounded so good that I wanted to make them anyway. The original recipe called for hazelnuts, but my hazelnuts went rancid so they had to go. I figured that almond and toffee were the perfect pairing, so I went in that direction.
This recipe is from the Culinary Institute of America’s cookbook series. I got the book for Christmas 2 years ago and this was the first thing I have made from it. See, this is why I am challenging myself to make things from the cookbooks that I own. Plus, I moved around the bookshelves and this book came back to the upstairs bookshelves. Hey, juggling bookshelves is quite the skill when you are a library who owns so many books like I do!
I was most interested in this cookie because you brown the butter but then refrigerate it. I’ve made a number of treats with browned butter, but I have never taken this additional step. I think it helps with the cookie’s texture, but that isn’t quite as noticeable with a bar cookie. I really liked these cookies with the combination of almonds and toffee. As much as a hazelnut fan that I am, I think the almonds are superior here. They give such a nice crunch, and paired with the buttery toffee, they can’t be beat.
Almond Toffee Browned Butter Blondies
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1-3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces toffee bits
2 cups almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook until the butter begins to brown and smells nutty. Be careful not to burn the butter. Pour the butter into a large mixer bowl. Refrigerate until the butter cools completely and firms up (about an hour for me).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” pan with foil, allowing the edges to overhang the pan. Butter the foil.
Take the mixer bowl out of the refrigerator, add the sugar, brown sugar and salt. Mix on medium until light and fluffy. In a small bowl whisk the water, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually add the eggs to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the toffee and almonds by hand.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until browned along the edges and the bars are set. Allow to cool completely. Pull the foil to remove the bars from the pan. Peel away the foil and cut into bars.
Recipe from At Home with the Culinary Institute of America: Cookies by Todd Knaster