These soft and chewy Brown Butter Blondies are filled with bits of Cookies and Cream chocolate bars and loaded with all the Oreo Cookies they can possibly hold!
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, Winter Solstice, or just another successful (?) trip around the Sun, you have to admit that this has been a year that challenged everyone’s concept of time. Some days seem to crawl by, and others feel like a time warp (including a jump to the left. And then a step to the right 🕺💃). One day we were trying to figure out how to exist on Zoom, and the next thing you knew it was Merry Hallowthanksmas! (Scene: Turkeys, wearing big-buckled shoes, sitting on pumpkins, while sporting Santa hats.)
No matter what day I think it is or isn’t, it’s apparently that time of the year where I spend four entire days baking, packing, and shipping holiday treats to family and friends. And since the Holidays crept up on us all (rude) I’m pulling out all my quick and easy recipes that are a cinch to pack and ship safely. Such as:
- Pecan Turtle Shortbread Bars
- My Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Homemade Cracker Jacks
- Dark Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Rye Bars
- Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies
Brown Butter Cookies and Cream Blondies
Making their debut on the list this year are my Brown Butter Cookies and Cream Blondies. Honestly, anything I don’t have to scoop and bake every 10-12 minutes is a winner in my book, but these new treats are a dream! Filled with chunks of cookies ‘n cream chocolate bars and oh-so-many Oreo cookies, they mix, bake, cool, and slice in no time, ready for shipping to all of your sweet-starved loved ones!
What are Brown Butter Cookies and Cream Blondies?
What’s not to like about blondies? They’re chewy and rich and they eat like a big slab of cookies. C’mon now! The great thing is, you can put almost anything you want in a blondie and it will only make them better. Chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles, caramel… the possibilities are endless! So when I was at the Mega Market and I saw Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Cream Chocolate Bars on sale, I was inspired. What if I put a bunch of that chocolate in my blondies? And what if I reinforced the cookies portion of the Cookies ‘n Cream bars with Oreos?! And what if… I made them with nutty brown butter?! MADNESS!!
Notes on Brown Butter Cookies and Cream Blondies
- Sanity is overrated when it comes to baking. So, in light of my previously-discussed lunacy, I decided to up the ante by making these blondies with brown butter. Yeah, I’m wild. That seemingly small but delicious change brought everything together in a new, nutty way. (Get it? Nutty? I’m hilarious.)
- This Cookies and Cream Blondie recipe calls for browning your butter. That sounded scary the first time I heard it, but it’s really a very simple process. It involves melting your butter and allowing it to foam up and simmer until the milk solids separate from the butter, and everyone gets a little toasted (heh). It lends a nice nutty flavor and aroma to your baking (and cooking!) that just can’t be beat! I have a few tips to make help in the process for you and make it less scary.
- I find that using a light colored pan (stainless steel as opposed to a dark nonstick) allows you to better see when the browning is taking place. Also, a larger skillet (as opposed to a saucepan) allows you to see below the foam and observe the browning as it happens.
- Finally, this process happens fairly fast and your butter can go from browned to uh-oh quickly, so as soon as you see (and smell) it happening, pour your browned butter out of the skillet and into a bowl to stop the process.
Do I have to use brown butter in these blondies?
If you’re not comfortable trying to brown butter today, that’s okay, your Cookies and Cream Blondies will still be amazing with good ol’ reliable melted butter! However, to maintain the same fat proportion in your blondies you’ll need to decrease the amount of butter listed in the recipe by 3 tablespoons. Why? Good question. This is because the weight of butter decreases by about 20% when you are browning it as the water portion steams off during the process. So, if you decide to use regular butter instead of browned, you will need to decrease the amount by 3 tablespoons to account for that 20%. Make sense? Cool. I knew you were a smart cookie 🤣.
This recipe makes one 13×9″ pan of amazing Brown Butter Cookies and Cream Blondies, but can be easily halved to make an 8×8″ inch square batch. But why? Bigger is better, especially with blondies.
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) (or 13tbs/185g if not browning) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup (150g) dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
- 2 1/4 cup (293g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
- 2 large bars (4oz each) Hershey's Cookies 'n Cream Chocolate
- 18-20 (230g) Oreos, roughly chopped
- Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. (Turn off the heat here if you're skipping the browning!) After melting, it will start to simmer and look foamy. Swirl some more. The foam will start to clear, and the solids at the bottom will begin to brown. It should take 10-12 minutes to start seeing some nice brown bits. Immediately pour into the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large bowl if you're using a hand mixer, and allow to cool.
- Heat oven to 350°. Prepare a 13x9" baking pan by lining with parchment paper, leaving a few inches to hang over each side to use as a sling for removing the blondies when they're done baking. Give the paper a good spritz with nonstick spray.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. In stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or a bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar for 1-2 minutes until lighter in color and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat another 2 minutes, scraping down the sides if necessary. Gradually add in the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined and no flour pockets remain. Stir in the chopped Oreo cookies and cookies n' cream chocolate with a large spatula, saving some of the goodies to put on the top of the bars before baking (because it’s pretty ☺️). Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and top with remaining chocolate and cookies.
- Bake blondies until the edges are just golden, about 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly or completely clean. Cool completely on a wire rack, and then cut into squares. Enjoy!