(Almost) Grandma’s Blondies

My Grandma Connie claims that during her days as a young wife on the farm, she baked one chocolate cake per day to feed my grandpa and any hired hands invited inside for lunch or an afternoon coffee break. My Grandpa Gene had a fondness for chocolate that rivaled the love of Romeo for Juliet. Almost any dessert we had growing up was chocolate to please both my grandpa and my father.

My aunt Koral tells a funny story about a time when my dad was a young boy and he went to visit a relative. The relative pulled out a white cake for dessert and my father immediately crossed his arms, pouted and murmured, “I hate white cake”. This story comes up during any current family birthday celebration that is not celebrated with chocolate cake.

On the rare occasion that Grandma made a dessert that was not chocolate, she would make blondies. Even Grandpa and dad would sneak a few. I have updated her recipe ever so slightly and use real butter instead of margarine and add a bit more salt to counter the sweetness of these bars.

The cool thing about these bars is that they are easily scooped into cookies! Because of the high butter content, they spread out nicely and get thin and crispy around the outsides and stay gooey on the inside. Bake at the same temperate for 9-13 minutes and voila! A completely different dessert. The batter freezes nicely too.

This recipe is simple and sophisticated in a rustic sort of way. Enjoy them with a cup of hot coffee or a glass of ice cold milk. Better yet, serve them as a dessert that your friends won’t expect at your next dinner party. Plate them fresh out of the oven with a scoop of softened, good quality vanilla bean ice cream.

This makes one 8×8 pan of blondies. This is also one of those rare recipes that you can double and it will turn out just right.


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I always use light brown sugar)
  • 1/8 tsp Salt (I always use Kosher salt)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits


Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter in a glass mixing dish. Add brown sugar and stir until slightly dissolved. Stir in vanilla, salt and beaten egg to mixture to combine. Sift flour and baking powder into wet ingredients and combine. Fold in butterscotch chips and toffee bits. Mixture will be thick. Spread evenly into a greased 8×8 baking dish. Bake at 375 for 25-27 minutes or until the edges are a little crispy and the center seems soft. It will harden a little with cooling but I still like to have the center of my blondies gooey.

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