Blondies are wonderful to make around the holidays because they come together quickly and one tray results in a whole batch of treats. Not to mention, these blondies are loaded with festive flavor, thanks to the toasted pecans, white chocolate chips and dried cranberries studded throughout. The drizzle of sweet butterscotch sauce and pinch of flaky sea salt makes for a winning salty-sweet combination.
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Add 2 rectangular sheets of parchment to an 8-inch square baking pan in a crisscross fashion, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides once fitted in the pan. Set aside.
Cook the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Swirl as the butter melts so that it browns evenly. It will foam, then turn golden and finally turn a toasty brown, about 6 minutes. Once the aroma is nutty, remove it from the heat and pour into a large heatproof glass bowl. (You should have about 6 tablespoons of browned butter.)
Whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Whisk the brown sugar into the browned butter until combined. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Then fold in the pecans, white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake until set and firm when touched and the top is glossy and crackled, 20 to 24 minutes. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
Lift the blondie out of the pan using the parchment handles and cut into 9 squares. Drizzle lightly with butterscotch sauce and sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if using. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
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