The past few days I've been looking at recipes for blondies, and today I put together a winner! The key to rich flavor in these bars is browning the butter used in both the bar and the icing.
BROWNED BUTTER BLONDIES
From Hannah's Kitchen
1/2 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly and watching closely, until butter just begins to turn golden brown (about 6-8 minutes). Immediately remove from heat and cool 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; stir until just combined. Fold in pecans.
3. Spread batter into greased 8-inch square baking pan (it will be thick). Bake for 22-26 minutes, or until bars are lightly browned and begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
4. Once bars are cooled, melt 1/4 cup butter in 1-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly and watching closely, until butter just begins to turn golden brown (about 4-6 minutes). Immediately remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
5. Combine cooled browned butter, powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in small bowl. Stir in enough milk for desired frosting consistency.
6. Spread frosting over cooled bars. Cut into bars.