Brown Butter Blondies

Sabbath Sunday is a rest day for Christians and I, too rest from cooking =p, well almost. We spent the whole morning in Church and were treated to a good lunch, all prepared by the worshippers themselves!

Back home, after dinner and checking out the fridge, I realised, to my horror again, that the cookies were running low. In fact, it was left with the pathetic one piece and I sprang into action. More baking! So it was Brown Butter Blondies today! And after cutting the blondies into smaller pieces, I really think I ough to purchase a serrated knife. =p

This is a relatively easy stuff to bake except for the clarified butter that is needed and which has to be heated again until it turns a deep, rich brown.

So a little about making clarified butter. Clarified butter is whole butter, cooked long enought to separate the milk solids and water from the pure butterfat.

– Slowly melt at least 1 cup (250g) unsalted butter (cut into pieces) in a small frying pan over low heat until it is foamy on the surface.
– Pour the melted butter into a small glass bowl or measuring pitcher and let stand for a minute or two. There are three distinct layers: milk solids (proteins) on the bottom; clear, yellow liquid (butterfat) in the middle; and foam on top.

– Use a spoon and carefully remove the foam from the surface. Pour the clear liquid into a clean container, being careful to leave the milk solids behind in the bowl or pitcher. Discard the milk solids.

To make brown butter, heat the clarified butter in a frying pan over low heat until light brown and fragrant. Immediately remove from the heat.
Cooking butter until it is a deep, rich brown, before it darkens and burns, produces a nutty-flavoured butter that enhances the traditional blondie. French chefs call this brown butter beurre noisette (hazelnut butter) because of its nut-brown colour and taste.

Info and recipe are from Essentials of baking and Culinary Boot Camp (CIA).

Ingredients (16 blondies)
1 1/2 cups (235g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup (155g) clarified unsalted butter
1 cup (220g) firmly packed golden brown sugar ( I used dark brown sugar)
1/2 cup (125g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, strained

1. Preheat oven to 325 F (165 C). Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a frying pan over low heat, heat the clarified butter until light brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a small bowl to cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl, combine the brown butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Mix in the eggs, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out almost clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 35-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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