The trouble with baking a lot is that baking leads you to do more baking. It's a circular problem. Some nights I feel a sort of restlessness which can only be combatted by getting out the mixer and some butter. I really enjoy creaming butter and sugar and then adding the dry ingredients. It calms me. It's like a zen thing.
The worst is when there is no specific project to channel my desire toward. The other night I simply wanted something, I felt vaguely Brownie-ish, and more specifically a Blondie - which I prefer to Brownies. That's when I came across Martha Stewart's recipe for Brown-Butter Toffee Blondies. I made them sometime last summer, but I now realize, I did not brown the butter long enough last time. Because if I had browned the butter long enough, I would not have stopped eating them between then and now. I didn't have toffee bits, so I went with chocolate chips. Given the chance, without toffee I would just leave out the chips. They were almost too overpowering for how dense and amazing the rest of the batter was.
Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
from Martha Stewart
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup toffee bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter and flour parchment paper.
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine browned butter and both sugars; stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Attach bowl to mixer; add eggs. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour mixture, walnuts, and toffee bits. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.
Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before turning out of pan onto a cutting board. Peel off parchment paper; cut blondies into 3-inch squares. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.