A couple weeks ago I went on this complete orange kick where I was adding orange juice and/or orange zest to evvvvverything (like these scones!). I think that subconsciously I was just feeling sick of winter, sick of the lack of seasonal fruit to work with, and uninspired by the January blahs that inevitably follow all the rush of the holidays. But I suppose that’s proof that sometimes the best things can come out of what feels like a complete lack of inspiration, because these blondies are what I’d call DANG good. ;)
I guess it really shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, but when you combine rich brown butter and brown sugar with bright orange zest and intense chunks of bittersweet chocolate, the results are exactly the kind of thing that will blow you away. You get this soft, butterscotch-flavored blondie loaded with that ever-sophisticated flavor combo of orange and chocolate – exactly what can elevate a blondie to a higher level of dessert classiness if there ever was such a thing. (← Which of course there is!)
On another note, my concentration level today is pretty much at zero – like I mentioned on Insta whilst clearly failing to concentrate on the task at hand – so it’s a slight miracle that I’ve even managed to string together three short paragraphs of (at least semi-) coherent sentences right here. I could attempt to go on, but it seems like a better idea to just put the focus on these stunner blondies and say THANK YOU to Friday for rolling around again. Time for dessert!
Brown butter and brown sugar give these soft blondies an intense butterscotch flavor, brightened up with orange zest and loaded with chunks of bittersweet chocolate.
- 5 ounces (10 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into chunks
- 5 5/8 ounces (3/4 cup, packed) brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 1/4 ounces (1 cup, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, plus extra for sprinkling
- raw (demerara) sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8" square pan with foil and grease foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place butter in a medium saucepan set over medium-low to medium heat. Cook until the butter melts, foams up, and turns golden-brown, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes.
- Add brown sugar to pan and whisk in until well-combined. Beat in eggs one at a time until mixture is paler in color and thickened and eggs are smoothly incorporated. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the batter and fold in until just incorporated. Fold in chocolate chunks until dispersed.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth out in an even layer. Sprinkle top with extra chopped chocolate and raw sugar (if desired).
- Bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool blondies to room temperature before lift out of pan and slicing. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.