Dense, chewy blondies are always a hit when I bake them. They’re easy to make and very delicious – a combination that I can’t resist. It is easy to put a twist on a basic blondie recipe, just as it is easy to change things up with your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe by substituting in various flavors of chips. These Salted Whole Wheat Butterscotch Blondies with Pecans have just a small differences from other blondie recipes, but pack in lots of flavor and have a slightly healthier twist to them.
The blondies are made with white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. White whole wheat flour performs almost exactly like all purpose flour, but it has more fiber, vitamins and minerals because it has about the same nutritional benefits as regular whole wheat flour. It is a great option if you want to easily incorporate some whole grains into your baking because it can be substituted for all purpose flour 1:1 in many recipes, including cookies and muffins. If you only have regular whole wheat flour and all purpose flour to choose from, make your own substitute by combining equal parts whole wheat flour with all purpose flour and use that in place of white whole wheat.
While the flour gives these blondies a slightly healthier base (though these aren’t health food, I must admit) the flavor comes from a combination of browned butter and brown sugar. The nutty flavor of browned butter combines with light brown sugar and salt to create a rich butterscotch flavor for these blondies, with just the right amount of salt to cut the sweetness of the sugar. The bars are studded with toasted pecans, which add a bit of contrast to the chewy, dense bars. Be sure not to overbake these, as they can become a bit dry and cakey if they are overdone.
I cut these into fairly generous squares, but you can cut them down into smaller servings, if desired. You can also double the recipe and bake the bars in a 9×13-inch pan to serve a group! The bars will keep very well in an airtight container for a couple of days after baking.
Salted Whole Wheat Butterscotch Blondies with Pecans
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup minus 1 tbsp white whole wheat flour
1 cup roasted, salted pecans
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small saucepan, brown the butter by melting it and then continuing to cook the butter until it bubbles and begins to turn golden brown, taking on a nutty aroma. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine browned butter, brown sugar and salt. Whisk until smooth, then stir in egg and vanilla extract. Stir in white whole wheat flour and roasted pecans. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with additional pinch of coarse salt, if desired.
Bake for 26-29 minutes, until the edges of the blondies are firm and light golden. Allow to cool completely before slicing.