Like every other aspect of life, cuisine is subject to trends. One of the latest baking crazes is brown butter. All over the food porn websites I frequent I’m seeing brown butter this and brown butter that. Everyone praises brown butter for being even more rich and sultry that its plain yellow cousin. Well, I thought, I just happen to live in the region that makes the best butter in the world (if you don’t believe me you’ve clearly never tried Breton butter with sea salt…) so if brown butter is even better than regular butter, and I have access to the best butter in the world, well you can see where I’m going…
While searching for a recipe to try this illusive brown butter in, I came across Brown Butter Toffee Blondies by Martha Stewart. I am generally not a fan of blondies…Normally when I eat a blondie I’m thinking “where’s the chocolate?” But I thought a blondie would be a nice simple palette on which to showcase the brown butter. I must admit, I was right. And as I didn’t have toffee and it’s hazelnut season here, I thought some roasted hazelnuts were in order to compliment the brown butter instead of the toffee, though I’m sure that’s delicious as well.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
285 grams (1 1/4 cups or 2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
250 grams flour (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
550 grams (2 cups) sugar (Martha uses brown sugar as well but I don’t have access to it in France)
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup roast hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter about 5 minutes or until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, combine browned butter and sugar; whisk until smooth. Add eggs and stir until thoroughly combined, beating until the mixtures is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour mixture, and hazelnuts. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.
Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before turning out of pan onto a cutting board. Peel off parchment paper; cut blondies into 3-inch squares or into shapes with 1 1/2- to 2-inch cookie cutters.