Bourbon, butterscotch, and buttery blondies. What could go wrong? These rich blondies are a dreamy grown up treat that are great on their own, but even better when you slather them with slightly boozy bourbon buttercream frosting. The blondies themselves are whatever the equivalent of fudgey is without chocolate, with just barely crispy edges and a tender center. They’re studded with butterscotch chips for a little crunch, they’ve got a kick of bourbon in the batter, and you’ll have already eaten two before you know what happened. These are perfect for a happy hour or a grown up dessert.
We had our first good thunderstorm of the season this week, and it was glorious. I didn’t realize when we moved to California that they didn’t have thunderstorms there. How do you know that summer is coming if rolling thunder and flashes of lightning don’t wake you up in the middle of the night? Maybe it doesn’t really matter when the weather is nice year-round. I remember that a few weeks after we moved there, local news ran a story about a “freak” thunderstorm in the hills, and newscasters were talking about it like it was the craziest thing they’d ever seen. I realized then that we weren’t in Kansas (okay, Michigan) anymore.
But now we’re back, so I get to look forward to that dreamy feeling of waking up to a storm and falling asleep to the thunder, with that worry of “I hope the canopy on the back deck doesn’t collapse and break a window” vaguely running through the back of my head. Hooray! I think it beats worrying about earthquakes.
Now back to the blondies. These are a great, easy treat to whip up when you’re craving something rich, but don’t want chocolate. I know, some of you are thinking that it’s never the wrong time for chocolate, but I didn’t inherit my family’s chocoholic gene. What can I say? Sometimes I prefer butterscotch. Between the butter and the brown sugar, plus a healthy dose of butterscotch chips, these blondies will have you forgetting all about chocolate. And in case you want to take it to the next level, this boozy bourbon buttercream frosting adds a great creamy kick. I’ll see you all soon with another recipe – for now these happy hour blondies are calling my name.
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 1 cup unsalted butter (16 tablespoons)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9” by 13” baking pan with butter. Line it with aluminum foil, leaving enough overhang to allow you to lift the brownies out when they’re done, then butter the foil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir gently with a rubber spatula until no traces of the flour remain. Gently stir in the butterscotch chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center is barely set. Allow the blondies to cool in the pan on a wire rack before removing and cutting.
- Add the butter to a large bowl and beat it on medium-high speed with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, making sure each addition has been totally incorporated before adding the next.
- Add the bourbon, vanilla, and heavy cream and mix on medium speed until the frosting is silky and light. Spread the frosting on the cooled brownies and serve.