When I was little my mom and I would often travel to Southern California to visit my grandma and my uncles. Most of these visits consisted of long car rides, we only flew there maybe once or twice. It would be about a 6-8 hour drive, but usually it was longer with stops. We’d stop to eat or pick up snacks, and sometimes even to rest. I remember this one little store that we’d stop at every time, and I’d always pick up dried banana chips, trail mix and a bag of shelled pistachios.
I just loved those things!
I’d pick up either green or red, but I remember the red pistachios specifically dying my fingers a bright pink color. I never understood the draw people have to sesame seeds, I much preferred pistachios and their already half open shells with the burst of pistachio flavor. On a slightly related note, I also loooove pistachio pudding.
The other day I was brainstorming ideas for St. Patrick’s day recipes, and I thought why not use pistachios? I found bags of pistachios without shells, which is perfect for baking and wanted to make something with white chocolate chunks, which reminds me of another of my favorite childhood treats, white chunks macadamia nut cookies. There’s just something about that white chocolate taste that is perfect when it’s in chunks.
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making some blondies, ever since I saw my friend Mandi at Chewsy Lovers make her own blondies with M&M’S® Red Velvet and I thought pistachios and white chocolate chunks would make a delicious combination in some blondies. I think of blondies as brownies without the chocolate, so I wanted to add a little more oomph, and that’s when I decided to make my blondies with browned butter.
Browning the butter adds a bit more of a nutty taste to whatever you are making, and in this case it creates a fudgier texture for the blondies so you get the brownie feeling without any of the chocolate taste. It was almost magical!
If pistachios and white chocolate are some of your favorite flavors, then these will definitely be a hit. You can always replace the pistachios with a different nut if you like. Walnuts, peanuts, almonds pecans or even macadamia nuts would all be just as good, but I liked that little hint of green for my St. Patrick’s Day treats. I even decided to add a little festive decoration by melting more white chocolate and adding some food coloring to create these cute little shamrock shapes to the tops.
Of course, the shapes are optional. If you’re just looking for a blondie recipe that’s full of flavor and you can customize in various ways, try this browned butter base. You can create alternate toppings or trade the chunks for chips or instead of white chocolate you can try a cherry chip, chocolate chips or candy. However you slice it, these are so delicious!
Ingredients for Browned Butter Pistachio Blondies with White Chocolate Chunks:
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1.5 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 (6 ounce) bag of pistachios without the shells
- 1 cup white chocolate chunks
- (optional) powdered sugar, for garnish
- (optional) 1-2 ounces white chocolate, melted + food coloring, for garnish
Begin by browning the butter in a non stick saucepan, it’s easier to see the color of the butter this way. Cook over medium heat, stirring gradually as the butter melts. Once the butter is melted, continue to stir over heat, and the butter will begin to change color. Once it’s a deep amber brown color, remove from heat and pour into mixing bowl. Refrigerate until cool, usually about 15-20 minutes.
Once the butter has cooled, add the brown sugar to the butter and mix with a whisk until everything is moist.
Line an 8×8 square pan with foil or parchment paper, spraying lightly with non-stick baking spray. Pour the mixture in and spread evenly. Place in oven and back for about 20-25 minutes, until edges are golden and a toothpick come out clean.
For additional fun, melt 4 baking squares of white chocolate in a microwave safe dish. Heat for 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between until smooth. Add a few drops of food coloring to achieve the desired color. (I added about 4 or 5 drops of green to get a light green color).
Using parchment or wax paper, draw the design you’re interested in, then add the melted chocolate into a piping bag and use #4 decorating tip to create your desired design. Once done, put in the fridge to set, usually for about an hour or so.