One of my husband’s most favorite things ever is Bourbon. If I was a jealous kind of girl, I’d worry I’d come out on the losing end of a “pick your wife or your favorite liquor” question. Instead, I just bake him things with Bourbon as a main ingredient. It’s how I show love, or show I care, or…well, just placate him and keep him docile 😉 Hubby isn’t feeling so well this week, so I thought I’d try to come up with a new dessert that he hadn’t had before. After taking stock of the pantry, I realized I could make blondies or brownies but that was about it. Since I’m working on an Aztec Dark Chocolate brownie recipe (pics and recipe coming soon), I decided to try my hand at making blondies. Browned Butter-Bourbon blondies, to be exact. ha, try saying that 3x fast! 😉
Sometimes whenever a recipe calls for butter, I like to throw it in a saucepan to brown it. It gives a richer, more nutty flavor to the butter and is an easy way to deepen the intensity. Blondies are one of the easiest things to make, as long as you have dark brown sugar lying around. I, however, do not and rarely do. I always have light brown sugar so thought I’d experiment with browning butter and adding it to light brown sugar to mimic dark brown sugar. The result was a ridiculously good blondie without too much effort. I’ll keep experimenting but I know for sure the amount of Bourbon I added was too much, so I adjusted it down for the recipe below (note from Hubby: “There is no such thing as too much Bourbon, ever.” Ok, honey, whatever you say *eye roll* ).
Browned Butter-Bourbon Blondies (makes 16 bars)
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar (or use light brown like I did, but it will be a milder taste)
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional, but I used it)
1/8 tsp kosher salt (if you use table salt, add slightly less, so do a pinch)
1 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/6 cup/1.25 oz Bourbon
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 in x 8 in pan with parchment paper.
On stovetop, melt butter in saucepan and brown it. Melt on medium-hot heat until bubbling and watch until it turns into a light golden brown color (about 5-6 minutes). DO NOT BURN- you will be able to tell you burned it if you see little flecks of black in the butter. If you see that, discard butter and don’t use it.
In medium sized bowl, stir browned butter (once done) and brown sugar, until smooth. Stir in almond and vanilla extracts, egg, and salt.
Add flour to mixture and stir in gently, mixing to reduce any large lumps (small lumps are ok). Add in Bourbon and other add ins if desired (like chocolate chips, pecans/walnuts, coconut, etc.)
Stir again and pour batter into dish. Bake about 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean with a few small particles clinging to it. Cool blondies by pulling parchment paper out of dish and setting on a wire rack. Cool before cutting into 16 squares. For cleaner edges when cutting, chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.