Apple Blondies with Brown Butter and Flaky Sea Salt

Apple season is my inspiration for baking some amazing fall flavors into a bar cookie. These blondies emulate the texture of fudgy brownies and get nutty caramel notes from browned butter. Everything pairs perfectly with sliced apples that have simmered in warming spices on the stovetop and then get folded into the batter. Serve these awesome treats on their own, or top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or with some whipped Greek yogurt. You may be surprised how easily these blondies come together.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 24 blondies
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over the sides by a couple inches. (This will help you easily lift the blondies out of the pan.) Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook until the butter is golden-brown and smells nutty, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour into a heatproof bowl or liquid measuring cup to cool.
  3. Put the apple in the same saucepan (don't get rid of those residual buttery bits, they'll add some nice flavor to the apples) along with 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook over medium heat until the apples have softened and the sugar has caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups brown sugar, the flour, lime zest, baking powder, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, remaining1/4 teaspoon ginger, the baking powder, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk to combine. Whisk the eggs, lime juice and vanilla into the browned butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the apples.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly to the sides of the pan. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Cool the blondies completely in the pan. Use the parchment to lift the blondies out of the pan. Peel away the parchment. To slice, cut the blondies in half widthwise and then cut each half into thirds; you'll have 6 strips. Cut each strip into 4 squares. Enjoy! 

Cook’s Note

Swap out the apples for cranberries, pears or other fruits of your choice. These blondies keep for up to a week covered and stored at room temperature. When measuring flour, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry bake goods.)