Blondies are truly an enigma in the confectionary world. Are they a cookie? Are they a brownie? Are they a hybrid of both? If a brownie is the hot popular quarterback, then a blondie is the mysterious hipster bad boy whose cryptic quips you never understand, yet are unequivocally attracted to.

This recipe will hopefully provide clarity to these questions that I am sure are festering in all of your minds. Blondie recipes have historically blurred the lines between cookie and brownie, when a true blondie is neither. They are not a mutated cousin of the brownie, nor are they a bar rendition of a simple chocolate chip cookie.

No, blondies are a dessert worthy of a category all to their own. They are dense, fudgy, squares of caramelized sugars and butterscotch dotted with toasted nuts and pops of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and they deserve to have their spotlight.

Make them once, and I swear you too will become part of the cult following for blondies and wonder how you could have ever viewed brownies in the same league.

Cook's Illustrated's Blondies

  • Prep Time:30 minutes
  • Cook Time:25 minutes
  • Total Time:55 minutes
  • Servings:24 squares
  • Medium


  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts (I used pecans)
  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Photo by Francesca Rinaldo
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350ºF.

  • Step 2

    Roughly chop nuts and spread out onto a baking sheet. Bake until nice and toasted, for about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

    Photo by Francesca Rinaldo
  • Step 3

    Butter and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan and line with foil or parchment paper.

  • Step 4

    Whisk melted butter and brown sugar together in a medium bowl.

    Photo by Francesa Rinaldo
  • Step 5

    Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

    Photo by Francesca Rinaldo
  • Step 6

    Mix in flour, baking powder and salt until JUST combined.

    Photo by Francesca Rinaldo
  • Step 7

    Fold in the chocolate chips and toasted nuts and spread evenly into the prepared pan.

    Photo by Francesca Rinaldo
  • Step 8

    Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until the top is shiny and golden. Err on the side of baking for less time. You do NOT want to overbake these.

    Photo by Francesca Rinaldo
  • Step 9

    Let cool and slice into 24 squares. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

    Photo by Francesca Rinaldo