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Chewy Nutty Toffee Blondies

Chewy Nutty Toffee Blondies

I am a certified blondie lover.

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Some people might say they are simply a chocolate chip cookie baked in bar form.  But one bite of these Chewy Nutty Toffee Blondies and I dare say that you won’t be thinking about chocolate chip cookies.  Blondies have a buttery, caramel-ly wonderful warm flavor.  It’s a different ratio of flour, butter and sugars that give you that deliciousness.

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I’d even venture to say they’re kind of butterscotch-y but not like butterscotch chips, which I used to love as a kid and can’t tolerate as an adult.  Not sure what happened there, but the last time I used them in 7 layer bars, I regretted it.  I still love butterscotch candy, but the chips?  They’re a no go for me. But I digress…

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I have a friend who tells me that her favorite thing I make is Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Even during Christmas, when I’m making tons of different kinds of cookies, she always tells me to skip the variety, she’ll just have a plate of the chocolate chip cookies.  And I’m always like, what?!? What about the Raspberry White Chocolate Blondies?  What about the Italian Biscotti? What about the buttery Spritz?  Those are fine, but she’d just like the chocolate chip cookies, please.

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So, I’ve been working on blondies off and on over the past year or so.  Just like my Brownie Odyssey, I’d say they were pretty much all good, but it was hard to get both the flavor and the texture I was looking for…you know, chewy but a bit cakey.  It’s been pretty elusive for me.  Add eggs, subtract eggs, change flour and butter ratios…it was the typical drill.  I’d land on the right flavor, then lose the texture.  Sometimes the texture was right, but I’d lost the buttery caramel notes.  I kept coming back to a classic blondie ratio that many recipes are based on.

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Last Friday, I sent in blondie trial number 132 (just kidding) for my chocolate chip cookie fan to try.  I didn’t hear back right away.  Normally she would text me.  She’s a regular tester for me, so I always like to get her feedback.  The next morning, she called me and said, “I don’t know what you call that bar you gave me yesterday, but move over chocolate chip cookies.  THIS is my new favorite thing you make.”  She told me she cut a piece off to try it and then cut another, and then it was gone. (I think this is code for, “Next time, please give me more :)”

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We had the same experience when we dove in to try them.  Originally, we were just going to have samples because we had just had a big dinner and there was really no room for dessert.  So I cut one of the big bars in quarters and everyone got a bite.  It was really good…so I asked if anyone wanted another piece knowing what the answer would be.  I cut another bar in quarters and we shared it again.  We stopped after that, but everyone easily could have downed one of the large blocks alone, big dinner or not.

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The blondie was chewy and chunky and nutty and buttery and caramel-ly (I don’t think that’s a word, but I need it to be, so I’m using it :)  Then there’s the perfect amount of chocolate running through it.  I’ll be honest, when I went to measure out my semi-sweet chips, I had enough for half a cup.  Ugh!  Really?  Let’s see, I have 4 bags of milk chocolate chips, 4 bags of peanut butter chips, 2 bags of white, 1/2 bag of bittersweet, 1/2 bag of semi-sweet minis but only a partial bag of semi-sweet?!?  So, in the recipe, I listed 3/4 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I really had to get there with semi-sweet, bittersweet and minis. My husband told me to write that ratio down, because he wants me to make it exactly like that the next time.

Then, a quarter cup of toffee chips, mini chips and chopped walnuts is sprinkled on top.  The toffee adds a caramel chewiness when mixed into the blondie but gives it a bit of crispiness when sprinkled on top. The nuts and chocolate add more texture and nuttiness. So you bite into a crispy top and then you get chunky, chewy, buttery, caramel chocolate yum.

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The other thing I love about these? (Outside of the fact that they mix up easily in one bowl?) Well, I think those Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies just aren’t the same without toasted pecans.  I almost never make them with the nuts because my family prefers them without.  I think the nuts MAKE that cookie.  But this blondie?  I added lots of walnuts and no one complained a bit. So this is one recipe that I can make just the way I like it.  My husband said I could stop testing; this one is his vote for the perfect blondie.  Is it my ultimate?  It’s really close. I’m sure I’ll keep tweaking it to see if I can make it better.  It might have been a tad too chunky for me.  I think I might reduce the amount of added chips and nuts a bit next time.  I’m not sure.  I think I’ll have to try another one…

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Just to make sure :)

 

Chewy Nutty Toffee Blondies

Ingredients

For blondie:

  • 8 Tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup bread flour or all purpose
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup toffee chips I used Heath

For topping:

  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips I used mini chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup toffee chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8" x 8" square pan with heavy duty foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in a large mixing bowl in the microwave. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk in sugars, then egg and vanilla until fully combined and creamy.
  4. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Switch to a spoon or spatula and stir until just combined. I leave streaks of flour at this step, since it will be further combined in the next.
  5. Add in chocolate chips, walnuts and toffee chips and stir until evenly distributed.
  6. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle each of the 1/4 cups of chocolate chips, walnuts and toffee chips on top of the batter.
  8. Bake for about 22-27 minutes or until top is lightly golden. Be careful not to overbake or you will have a dry blondie. Mine was done in 25 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool completely. Use foil to pull blondie out of pan. Slice and serve.

Recipe Notes

*You can use a 9 X 9" pan if you need to, but I think the texture is partly dependent upon the smaller pan, which makes for a thicker blondie.

*I didn't toast the walnuts that I sprinkled on top since they were exposed and would toast in the oven anyway.

*I mentioned I might like to try a little less chunkiness next time. For that, I would probably reduce the chocolate chips to 1/2 cup and nuts to 1/4 cup for the part you mix in (keeping toffee the same.) Then, for toppings, I would reduce nuts and toffee chips to 2 Tablespoons each, keeping chocolate the same. If I try that and like it better, I'll report back. Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2015

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Ron

Thursday 5th of March 2020

What changes would I need to make to convert this to a cookie recipe?

Ramona

Thursday 5th of March 2020

Ron, I haven't tested it, but I imagine you could add 1/4-1/2 cup additional flour for a more cookie like dough. You might also want to refrigerate the dough after mixing it up so that the butter can firm up before baking. This will help prevent too much spreading. Good luck!

Julie

Monday 23rd of May 2016

I made these yesterday...OMG, they are so, so, so very good and so easy to make! I'll be making them again for a work event later this week. Thanks for posting the recipe.

Ramona

Monday 23rd of May 2016

Ahhh...a fellow blondie fan! I love, love, love these...I'm such a blondie fan! You've got some lucky co-workers :) Thanks, for the great feedback Julie!

Jake3_14

Saturday 30th of January 2016

I followed the "light" version of the recipe, but it took 30 minutes for the batch to fully set in the middle of the batter, and they were still a bit gummy below the crust. I think 5 min. more would have been been perfect, and I'll do that the next time. But as far as taste, these were great!

Ramona

Saturday 30th of January 2016

Yeah, I'm not a fan of underbaking cookies and blondies. I know some people are and like that really soft middle, but not me, I like it done but not dry. I'm wondering if your oven might run cooler. I always make sure my oven is calibrated so that I can give readers the most accurate timing based on a specific temperature. (Although different weights and colors of pans can also affect how things bake even if they're the same size.) Also, it's possible that less mix-ins shifted the bake time a little. Nuts absorb moisture and less nuts means more moisture. I agree with you...a slightly longer bake time would probably have gotten you what you were looking for...Glad the taste was there for you though. Can't go wrong with butter, sugar, chocolate and nuts. Thanks for the feedback!

Veronica

Monday 9th of March 2015

I have a weakness for toffee and chocolate! They look divine! Wishing I could be your tester too, lol

Ramona

Monday 9th of March 2015

You pretty much can't go wrong with toffee and chocolate. They make any kind of blondie or cookie delicious!

Tasbih @ Cleobuttera

Thursday 5th of March 2015

I literally can't wait to make these! I love blondies so much but still haven't landed on THE one just yet. Looks like you've perfected these and I think I love them already:)

Ramona

Thursday 5th of March 2015

I think this one is pretty close to THE one. I'm going to try it with less "chunk" and see if the texture of the batter really shines through. Even if it's not the one, I promise you won't hate it :)

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