Side Orders: Top blondies with toffee bits, maple sauce, vanilla ice cream

Anne Braly
Anne Braly

I've never made blondies before, preferring dark chocolate brownies over their paler next of kin. Then I saw one of those copycat recipes online that said it was almost identical to the blondies on the dessert menu at Applebee's.

photo Anne Braly

I eat at Applebee's every so often because I really like the restaurant's Thai shrimp salad. And I remember having a delicious blondie there once years ago, and it was quite good topped with ice cream and drizzled with a creamy maple topping.

After reading reviews for the recipe, I found, however, that the blondies were more cake-like than brownie-like. So I went looking for another blondie recipe and made it, but used the maple topping suggested in the original Taste of Home recipe I'd found. The combination was really quite remarkable. There are numerous blondie recipes online, but blondies are quite versatile, so mix and match and make it your own.

The blondies I made combined at least three recipes, including an idea from Martha Stewart to add toffee chips to the batter. The result were blondies that were buttery, soft, chewy, creamy and chocolatey, too - with white chocolate, that is. Toasted pecans in the batter added a wonderfully crunchy depth of flavor and texture.

They are so easy to make when you need a dessert in a pinch. And they're delicious served plain at room temperature with a cup of coffee or tea. Or heat them up, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and top them with that maple sauce and more toasted pecans for a dessert that could end up in your go-to recipes when you're looking for something that's easy to serve a crowd.

Brown Butter Blondies With Maple Topping

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, tightly packed

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup toffee bits, optional

Maple topping:

1 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup evaporated milk

Additional toppings:

Vanilla ice cream

Toasted pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 9- by 13-inch pan. Combine melted butter and sugars in a large bowl, and stir well. Add eggs, egg yolk and vanilla, and stir until completely combined. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet until completely combined.

Fold in white chocolate chips, toasted pecans and toffee bits, if using. Spread blondie batter into prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few fudgy crumbs. Cut into squares, and serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream, maple sauce and additional toasted pecans, if desired.

For maple topping: Combine syrup and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in milk until well combined. Serve warm over ice cream.

Email Anne Braly at

Upcoming Events