Nothing makes the kitchen smell like fall faster than baking a dish that uses a lot of cinnamon. When it’s warm, cinnamon becomes aromatic enough to fill the whole house with its scent – and get your mouth watering for whatever sweet and spicy treat is baking. These Brown Sugar Cinnamon Blondies are an easy bar cookie recipe that will satisfy your tastebuds and make your kitchen smell amazing in the process.
It only takes a few minutes to put together this recipe – and even less if you use a microwave-safe bowl to melt your butter, as that will turn this into a one-bowl recipe. The blondies start with a butterscotch-y base of brown sugar, butter and vanilla, but have a generous dose of ground cinnamon added to give them complexity and perfect-for-fall spice. There are quite a few types of brown sugar out there to choose from, each with a different level of molasses flavor. I prefer to make these using light brown or golden brown sugar, as opposed to dark brown sugar, which delivers a stronger molasses note. Like brownies, these blondies do not contain any leavening. This makes the bars dense, chewy and very satisfying to eat.
I baked these blondies in an 8-inch round cake pan. It gives the bars a nice wedge shape and makes them stand out from the traditional squares that you’ll usually see bar cookies cut into. If you choose to use a round baking pan, I recommend lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, just as I recommend doing with square baking pans, to make the blondies easy to remove before slicing. If you don’t have a round pan, you can bake this recipe in an 8-inch square baking dish without adjusting the baking time.
The blondies are finished with a dusting of cinnamon-sugar, which is added just before they go into the oven. While you might not think that sweet bars like these need any additional sugar, that topping gives the bars a nice crunch and highlights the cinnamon even further.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Blondies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (pref. light or golden)
1 large egg
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan or an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and allow it to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, egg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla until smooth. Once those ingredients are well-combined, stir in the flour using a whisk or spatula.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish and smooth it into an even layer using a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until bars are set and the edges are lightly browned on top.
Cool completely in the pan before lifting the bars out using the aluminum foil and slicing into narrow wedges (or squares, depending on the pan you used).
Makes 16 bars.