A cookie bar made without brown chocolate, these blondies have a nutty butterscotch base flavor that’s taken up a notch with a double helping of sweet creamy white chocolate - melted and chopped - and brightened with a heap of fresh tart raspberries swirled through the batter.
What are Blondies?
Blondies are a sweet treat that’s part cookie, part brownie but made without the brown chocolate that defines the similar brownies. Like brownies, they have a dense and somewhat chewy texture that melts in your mouth as you eat them. They have a high fat to flour ratio, which makes them indulgently rich and tender.
Blondies get their nutty butterscotch flavor from the butter, browned in this recipe, brown sugar and salt and - in the case of these white chocolate and raspberry blondies - the addition of white chocolate.
For an even easier treat, try these no-bake chocolate-covered popped farrow bars
Gooey or Cakey?
As with brownies, there is some debate over the ideal texture of a perfectly baked blondie: some like their blondies on the gooey side and some like them on the cakey side. It’s essentially personal preference. If you want your blondies dense and fudgy, be extra careful not to overmix the batter and underbake them by a few minutes.
On the other hand, if you want blondies with a drier and chewy cookie-like texture, bake them for a few minutes longer and be sure to allow them to cool completely before cutting into them to ensure the center is fully cooked through.
Brown sugar is foundational to the flavor of a blondie and, as such a simple bake, it’s a main source of flavor. Light or dark brown sugar can be used, but there are pros and cons to each.
Dark brown sugar has a deeper flavor than light, but it also has a higher molasses content, so it will leave your blondies a bit more moist - which can make a difference to the final texture, especially if you are also adding raspberries. If you don’t want gooey or fudgy blondies, opt for light brown sugar. If you love a rich gooey texture, go for the dark brown sugar to get the most flavor.
I like to use half light brown sugar and half dark brown sugar for a balance of flavor and texture, but you can use all of one or the other, if it is what you have on hand.
I’ve used chopped baking chocolate for this recipe, but you can substitute white chocolate chips in an equal amount.
With so few ingredients, you want to choose the best quality white chocolate you can find, and, if you have the resources, it’s worth opting for a fair trade or ethical chocolate brand - to avoid supporting unfair or unethical labor practices.
If all you can afford or access is a basic grocery store baking white chocolate - don’t worry! Your blondies will still be delicious!
You can use either fresh or frozen raspberries for this recipe. If using frozen, there is no need to defrost them first. Add them to your blondie batter straight from the freezer!
Fresh raspberries are more likely to squish and color the blondie batter as you mix them through. This is mostly aesthetic and doesn’t impact the flavor, but if you don’t want the raspberries to blend through the batter, you can always pop your fresh raspberries in the freezer for a few minutes before adding them. If you do this, you may need to extend the baking time by a few minutes, because the partially frozen raspberries will add more moisture to the batter than fresh.
No matter what kind of raspberries you are using, to keep them as in-tact as possible, fold them into the batter last, just before you put the baking dish into the oven, and don’t overmix
As with any baking, you want to measure your flour correctly to ensure you are using the right amount. The amount of flour you put in can vary significantly depending on the method you use, and you won’t get the perfect gooey chewy texture if you use too much.
The best, most accurate, way to measure flour is by weighing it. Kitchen scales are inexpensive and so worth the investment and the cupboard space - I would be lost without mine!
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, the next best measuring technique is the spoon and level method:
- Make sure the flour in your flour bag is not packed down.
- Spoon flour into your measuring cup without pressing it down; keep it fluffy.
- Use the spoon handle to brush across the measuring cup, leveling it out and transferring the excess flour back into the flour bag.
Some blondie recipes call for creaming the butter into the sugar. But creaming butter incorporates air into the batter, resulting in more of a cakey blondie. To get a chewy fudgy texture, this recipe opts for browning the butter (and then combining the browned butter with melted white chocolate). Browning butter by melting and slowly heating it on the stove before adding it to your batter also creates more of a toasted nutty, toffee flavor and a deeper color to the finished blondies.
Browned butter is a versatile technique that can also be used to add flavor to savory dishes. Try browning the butter when making shrimp scampi, or pan fried gnocchi, or a butter sauce for steamed fish parcels.
The line between browned and burnt butter is a fine one. To ensure success:
- A light colored pan will allow you to easily see the exact color of the browning bits of butter, so you can remove it from the heat at just the right time - before it burns.
- A flexible silicone spatula is the best tool to stir the butter with. The flexible flat edge allows you to get all the butter moving as you stir so none of it sticks to the bottom of the pan
- Don’t plop your stick of butter into the pan whole. Cut the butter into smaller pieces before melting it over medium heat, so it will melt quickly and evenly.
- Allow the butter to bubble, stirring constantly, and watch it carefully. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the foaming and bubbling sounds subside, the butter solids are a deep golden brown and the butter smells nutty.
The Type of Pan you use Makes a Difference
The best pan to use for baking blondies or other cookie-bars is a square metal pan because of the material and shape.
- Metal is better at conducting heat than glass. A metal baking tin will heat up faster and more evenly in the oven, reducing the baking time and ensuring that the edges of the blondies don’t overcook before the center is done. Metal will also cool down faster than glass once you remove them from the oven, which stops the blondies from continuing to cook.
- The crisp sharp corners of a square pan allow you to cut your blondies into perfectly square pieces. Your blondies will still taste the same with rounded edges, but the sharp edges of a square pan are nice if you want perfectly square or rectangular bars that are uniform in size.
In the recipe that follows I’ve indicated the baking time as a range instead of an exact time to accommodate a number of variables that affect how long your blondies will take to cook, including different types of baking pans.
If you are using a metal pan, aim to bake your blondies for the lower end of the range given, and consider checking them a few minutes earlier - especially if you want gooey blondies with a texture similar to fudge.
If you are using a glass pan, you will likely need to cook your blondies for longer - especially if you want chewy blondies with a texture closer to cookies than fudge. Start checking your blondies for doneness towards the end of the timing range given.
How to Store and Freeze Blondies
The best way to store blondies is at room temperature. Allow them to cool completely and transfer to an airtight container, separating layers with sheets of parchment or wax paper. They will keep well when stored this way at room temperature for 3-4 days.
If you want to store your blondies for a few more days, they can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, after they have cooled down completely. They will last in the fridge for up to a week - but - will dry out more than if they were stored at room temperature. Microwave them for a few seconds before eating to warm them up a bit.
Finally, if you want to have blondies around to snack on for a longer term, store them in the freezer. On the day they have been baked, wait for them to cool completely then wrap them tightly (either before cutting, or individually after cutting, depending on if you want single-servings straight from the freezer or if you want to defrost them all at once at a later date.) first in plastic wrap and then in foil. They can then be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months. Defrost them overnight in the fridge for the best texture.
White Chocolate and Raspberry Blondies Recipe
Makes: 16 squares
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
- 1 ½ cups (7 oz) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 ⅓ cups (8 oz) white chocolate, chopped and divided
- ½ cup (4 oz) packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (4 oz) packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup (1 ¾ oz) white sugar
- ½ teaspoon table salt (or 1 teaspoon kosher)
- 3 cold eggs
- ½ tablespoon vanilla
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8x8 baking pan with two overlapping sheets of parchment paper, each cut to the width of the sides of the pan, leaving some paper hanging over the sides. (Clip the paper to the sides of the pan with small binder clips, if you have them). Set aside. Sift the flour into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small, light-colored, saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter melts, turn the heat up to medium and allow to simmer, stirring constantly with a flexible spatula, until the hissing sounds calm down, golden brown solids have developed and the butter smells nutty. Remove from heat immediately and stir in 4 ½ oz of the chopped white chocolate until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine brown and white sugars, salt, eggs and vanilla. Whisk until the mixture becomes fluffy and light in color. Add the butter and melted chocolate mixture and mix through. Use a flexible spatula to fold through the flour until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Quickly fold through the additional 3 ½ oz of chopped chocolate and then the raspberries.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spread out evenly across the pan and bake for 35-45 minutes** or until the center is just barely firm, the edges have browned, the top is shiny and crinkly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean but with a few moist crumbs sticking to it.
- Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. When the blondies are completely cool (about 1 hour), use the overhanging parchment paper to lift the blondies out of the baking pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or freeze.
**The exact baking time will depend on both how gooey/chewy you want your blondies and what kind of pan you are using.