Up your blondie game by adding in chunks of a totally addictive salted brown sugar toffee along with roasted pecans. It’s pure and simple magic.
Cliff Notes: Roast and chop pecans. Make toffee: Cook butter, sugar, bourbon, corn syrup, cinnamon to 285°; add vanilla, salt, baking soda. Pour onto a greased pan covered in chopped pecans. Cool completely. Make blondies: Mix melted butter with remaining ingredients to form thick batter. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
Make It Your Way: – Change the mix-ins to your favorites … chocolate chips, white chocolate, peanut butter chips, any kind of nut, etc. – Make blondie bites using mini muffin tins instead of a cake pan.
Simplify It: – Use store-bought toffee chips or Heath® bars instead of making your own toffee chips.
I am a brown-sugar-aholic. While my siblings were sneaking chocolate chips out of the baking cupboard, I was going for the little lumps in the brown sugar bag. On a plate full of chocolate chip cookies, I’ll search out the one with the fewest chocolate chips in it. And if you offer me a choice between chocolate pudding and butterscotch pudding, it’s no contest at all.
So it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that in my book, blondies totally outrank brownies. There’s nothing that can quite compete with the brown sugar chewiness of a good blondie. And while a plain blondie is good, a blondie studded with bronze nuggets of toffee and bites of chopped pecans is even better! Of course, you can buy toffee bits or toffee bars in the store, but here, I make a deep, dark, salted toffee with brown sugar and bourbon that has no equal. Try it and see for yourself. Just be sure to save enough to mix into the blondie batter!
Roast the pecan halves in an air fryer at 300° for 6 minutes. Remove from air fryer. Roughly chop the pecans. Set 1/2 cup of the larger pieces aside to use in the blondies. The smaller pieces will be used for the toffee.
Line a small, heat-safe pan with aluminum foil. Generously butter or spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of small pieces of chopped pecans over the bottom of the pan and set aside.
MAKE THE BROWN SUGAR TOFFEE:
In a small sauce pan, combine butter, brown sugar, bourbon, corn syrup, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture reaches 285° on a candy thermometer (about 15 minutes).
Immediately remove the pan from the burner and mix in the vanilla, salt, and baking soda.
As soon as the mixture is combined, pour overtop of the chopped pecans and use a silicone spatula to carefully spread the mixture out. CAUTION: This mixture is HOT and can cause severe burns.
Set the pan aside for 20-30 minutes until it has cooled and can be handled without oven mitts. Set the pan in the refrigerator to until it is completely cool and cracks when you pick one end up.
FOR THE BLONDIES:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Use a silicone or pastry brush to brush some of the melted butter on the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″ metal baking pan.
In a large bowl, add the rest of the melted butter to the brown sugar and stir to combine. Set aside to allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, crack the toffee into small pieces and measure out 1/2 cup. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
To the butter and brown sugar mixture, stir in the eggs, vanilla, pecans, and toffee pieces.
Add the flour mixture in three batches, mixing well between each addition. The batter will be very thick.
Spread the blondie mixture into the baking pan.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes until the edges are starting to pull away from the sides and the center of the blondies is firm to the touch.
Set on a baking rack to completely cool before cutting into squares.