It’s officially Christmas cookie season, and I don’t know about you, but I kind of never want it to end. Friends bringing by linzer cookies & bourbon balls for sampling, my mom and I comparing notes on which biscotti to make this year… it really is the most wonderful time of the year! My cookie consumption reached new heights last weekend at my friend Myra’s cookie swap that I told y’all about, and after weighing about a million options, I decided to make these Pear & Brown Butter Blondies my contribution. (I know, they’re technically not a cookie…but I figured that once people tasted them, technicalities would fly out the window.) I consulted a couple of different blondie recipes to get started, then customized these with lots of chopped Bartlett pears, orange zest and cinnamon for a really warm and Christmas-y result. I will say that these were their absolute best served warm, straight out of the oven… so once you make ‘em, eat up. Keep reading for the recipe.
Pear & Brown Butter Blondies
For the topping:
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
For the blondie:
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ slices
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 cups 1/4-inch cubes cored peeled firm Bartlett pears
- Powdered sugar (optional)
Prepare the topping:
- Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, almonds and salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in butter until moist crumbs form and no dry flour remains. Cover and chill.
Prepare the blondie:
- Preheat oven to 350°. Cut parchment paper to fit a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with an overhang on both sides. Repeat with another sheet of parchment in opposite direction, lining pan completely. Spray foil with nonstick spray.
- Stir butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until melted, deep golden brown, and dark brown bits form at the bottom of pan (do not burn), 7–8 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl; let brown butter cool slightly.
- Whisk flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Whisk brown sugar, eggs, zest, juice and vanilla in another large bowl until mixture is smooth.
- Slowly stream brown butter into brown sugar mixture, whisking constantly; whisk until well blended. Add pears to dry ingredients; toss to coat. Stir into brown sugar mixture (batter will be thick). Using a spatula, scrape batter out of bowl and into pan. Smooth top. Scatter chilled topping over batter.
- Bake blondie until golden brown, edges pull away from sides of pan, and a tester inserted into the center comes out almost clean, with a few moist crumbs attached, 30–35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let blondie cool completely in pan.
- Cut blondie into squares. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving, if desired.
*recipe adapted from bon appetit; photos by Camille