Do you prefer cookies or bars? I stand with bars. Simply put, they are easy to bake — just spread the batter in one pan at once. I also prefer the texture of a bar, with its crunchy top and crisp edges that give way to gooey center that melts in the mouth. And lastly, I think bars store better. I know, I know, who am I kidding. It’s not like these sweets don’t get gobbled up before you can say brown butter, right? It’s true, though. I find that bars freeze exceptionally well, and don’t dry out, unlike cookies — or at least the cookies I make.
And speaking of brown butter: Whether it’s a cookie or a bar you’re baking, brown butter is that extra ingredient that tips a sweet from good to decadent. Brown butter adds a golden, nutty, butterscotchy color and flavor. The method to brown butter is simple. Melt the butter and continue to cook it until it takes on a deep golden, light brown color with a toasty aroma. The key is to keep an eye on the butter, since it can go from light brown to dark brown to burnt very quickly. It’s not the time to step away from the stove and water your plants.
These blondies include toffee, which makes for a sweet and very butterscotchy bar. Finely chopped bittersweet chocolate helps to balance out the sweetness of the batter.