Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Blondies
Tender Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Blondies that will have you addicted. These blondies are studded with toasted pecans and chocolate chips. And sometimes for fun, I’ll throw in a handful of shredded coconut too! These disappear in no time!
Okay, nobody freak out. Let me explain. I’m saying these are adult brownies in the sense that these have some sophisticated flavors. Not because my homemade pecan chocolate chip blondies contain any part of the cannabis plant or anything else illegal. Talk about an attention grabber!
Sure using regular melted butter will work just fine for this recipe too. But what elevates these brown butter blondies is one straightforward step. We’re talking about crackling the butter in a skillet just until it’s brown, nutty, and leaves your whole house smelling like a bakery. I opted to use semi-sweet chocolate chips to cut back on the sweetness a little bit more and add dark richness. Finally, a big pinch of Maldon salt on these pecan chocolate chip blondies before they went off into the oven. That first bite, you can taste the brown butter toffee base, crunchy pecans, a hint of salt, and chocolate to smooth it all out.
Anees, aka the chocolatiest man I know, said that the sea salt made these BETTER. This is a man that has no problem eating a chocolate pie made entirely 100% from chocolate. So if he can get on board with salting his chocolate, my job is done.
If you’re mouth is watering just thinking about these flavors, wait until you make and smell these blondies! And you’ll get a ton of pecan chocolate chip blondies out of one batch. I made it such because the first time I tested these, our 8×8 pan was GONE in a day. Nevermind how that happened with just two people living in our house. This time, I knew we needed more blondies around, some for sharing, and some for freezing.
Sadly, they never ended up making it to the freezer, yet again!
What to know about Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Blondies:
It all starts with the brown butter. You’ll need a medium saucepan and two sticks of butter for this step. Most recipes use melted butter for blondies anyway, so the only extra work we’re putting in here is making sure the butter browns before we use it.
Tips for brown butter success:
- Use a thick-bottomed, stainless steel or a light-colored saucepan. This allows you to monitor the color of the butter easier.
- Slice the butter before adding it if you can; it melts more evenly that way.
- Be sure to swirl the pan occasionally, so the butter cooks evenly.
- Let your nose be your guide. Once you smell a nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat, add the sugar and stir to combine.
The thing that makes me the happiest about these homemade pecan chocolate chip blondies is that you don’t need to bust out your stand mixer for this. You can mix everything by hand, and in fact, it’s better so that we don’t end up with an oversized blondie batter. I figured if I’m going to add a saucepan in the mix, I need to eliminate another kitchen equipment along the way.
Is it becoming blatantly obvious that I’m a lazy baker? I hope so.
My goal for these homemade pecan chocolate chip blondies was that they should be dense and not cakey. This took a few rounds of testing on my part to realize that adding any more than one teaspoon of baking powder made these rise way more than I wanted them to. The brown butter also helps make these super chewy, exactly how I like my chocolate chip cookies and now, clearly my blondies too.
I opted to go with all brown sugar for my blondies as well. Something I usually don’t do. If you’ve made my chocolate chip cookies before, you know I usually like to add a little bit of granulated sugar to the mix to give the cookies a nice crunchy ring around the outside. The brown sugar plays a two-part roll here. It certainly adds to that toffee/butterscotch note that we’ve already got going on with the brown butter, but also, it helps react with the baking powder to help add just the right about of soft and puffiness to the blondies.
For the mix-ins, I opted for semi-sweet chocolate chips this time but have also made it with dark chocolate chips in the past if that’s what you’ve got on hand. I don’t suggest going the milk chocolate chip route though unless you don’t mind your desserts being extra sweet. There’s also chopped toasted pecans in the mix. The hubby and I love the crunch of walnuts or pecans in our brownies, so I opted to go full speed with them in my blondies recipe as well. The nuts work well with the butterscotch flavors of our blondie base. Lastly, we’re both coconut lovers, so just the littlest bit of sweetened coconut rounds these off for us. If you’re dealing with allergies or don’t like coconut, you can easily omit it from the recipe without having to make any other changes.
Crackly golden brown tops with speckles of salt on top, I have to say pecan chocolate chip blondies are almost better than brownies for me right now. That warm toffee-flavored base with these mix-ins makes these blondies so irresistible!
- 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- ¾ cup toasted pecans, chopped (or walnuts)
- ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
- Brown Butter: Heat the butter in a medium stainless steel saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown for a total of 3-5 minutes. Every now and then grab the handle and gently swirl the pan and stir often. You’ll notice it’ll start to foam but keep going. Usually, better quality butter has less water, which means it would brown quicker. Remove the saucepan from the stove when the butter smells like hazelnuts and looks light to medium brown in color. Whisk in the brown sugar until it looks like a slushy mixture, pour into a large glass bowl and allow it to cool to room temp.
- Batter: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. In the bowl with the butter mixture add and whisk the eggs, and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and use a rubber spatula to fold, it's okay if you still see a few pockets of flour. Add the chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut and fold until evenly distributed but don't over-mix!
- Bake: Spread the batter into the baking pan, smooth out the top and sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt if you’d like. Bake for 20-27 minutes or until the blondies are crackly and light golden brown on top. Feel the top of the blondies, it shouldn't be soft. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting and serving!
- If you don’t have salted butter, just adjust the salt to 1 teaspoon in the batter.
- I always like to measure using the spoon and leveled method
- You can easily omit the shredded coconut from the recipe without making any other adjustments.
- Leftover blondies can be placed in a container or zip-top bag and frozen for a couple of months!